Freedom to Say Life is Hard

I saw this article bouncing around Facebook the other day, Don’t Carpe Diem. The author was writing about experiences she has had when older ladies have stopped her and her small children in stores and said,  “Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast.”

The author comments,

“Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy everysecond, etc, etc, etc.

I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn’t work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life – while I’m raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.”

This article seemed to resonate with lots of young moms who found in this article the freedom to say that they “don’t carpe diem”, the freedom to say life is hard. It resonated with me as well. She captures grace and expresses it in real world terms.

I wonder, do we give people this freedom in the church, or do people feel the pressure to have it together all the time? Do people feel like they are doing something wrong if they don’t  live up to the qualifications we have set for being a “good” Christian? What does it say about the gospel if people don’t have this freedom?

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The Help

Over the Christmas break I watched a movie called, The Help with my wife’s family.  It is a story about life in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era. If focuses on life from the perspective of the black maids who work for southern white families.

While watching it, I was very angered and saddened by how poorly the black women were treated by most of their white employers. They were treated as if they were sub-human. But interestingly what came out to me in the movie, was that the more that the white women acted in a way that denied the Image of God in the black women, the more in-humane (or sub-human) they became. For are we not truly human when we are living in life in restored relationship with God, restored relationship with man, and restored relationship with creation, in accordance with God’s Word.

Another thought I had was what in the world was the Southern Church doing during this period of our history, and even before. The marks of the church are preaching the Word, administering the Sacraments, and the practice of discipline. These marks were severely distorted by the Southern church to allow slavery and behavior as portrayed in the movie to go on unaddressed, and in some cases approved and argued for by the Church. What did this communicate about the work of Christ and the truth of the gospel? If the church had worked to fulfill its calling during this time we might be in a different place today.

If you grew up in the South, as I did, another question I have is this- If I had grown up during that period would I have acted any different? Would I have ignored how Scripture spoke into my culture, my life, my prejudices?

What are the areas of our lives and culture that we are blind towards today? Where does the Gospel  need to speak into our lives? Where are we acting sub-human? Does the reality of Christ’s finished work on behalf of sinners impact how we treat others, how we live our lives today?

Wednesday Westminster – SC Q39

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.[113]

Link to WSC

Wednesday Westminster – SC Q4

Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,[7] infinite,[8] eternal,[9] and unchangeable,[10] in his being,[11] wisdom,[12] power,[13] holiness,[14] justice,[15] goodness,[16] and truth.[17]

Link to WSC

Wednesday Westminster – SC Q10

Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image,[26] in knowledge,[27] righteousness, and holiness,[28] with dominion over the creatures.[29]

Link to WSC

Wednesday Westminster – SC Q3

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God,[5] and what duty God requires of man.[6]

Link to WSC

Wednesday Westminster – SC Q2

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,[3] is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.[4]

Link to WSC

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