I love old cars that are still in good condition. The chassis and exterior of the older automobiles are stronger than the fiberglass or aluminum exterior of most modern vehicles. The older engines are simpler, stronger and in many cases longer-lasting than their modern counterparts.
The cars, trucks and vans of today are not made to last. After a few years with the same vehicle, you must be willing to trade it in for a new one, or pay thousands in repairs every year if you expect to keep your used car.
There are, however, a few modern technological advancements that make the modern automobiles better in some aspects. I am referring to Automatic Braking, Rearview Camera, GPS, LoJack, OnStar and Cruise Control. Of all these, the Cruise Control is my favorite, because it allows the driver to rest their legs, especially in a long trip.
Cruise Control has also become the favorite of many followers of Christ today. They supposedly have received Christ as their Lord and Savior, but soon after that, they connect to the “Christian Cruise Control Network” and intend to coast and cruise, instead of walking and running with Christ in service and obedience.
Christ did not die on the cross for us to live an easy and trouble-free live. We have not been called to a Cruise Control kind of life, but we must all submit under the control of the cross. Cross Control is what we need. The Bible tells us:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34)
We must be obedient followers of Christ. Jesus gave us the example as,
“He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
If you want to go on a cruise from time to time, go ahead; just make sure to stay away from all its temptations. On the other hand, submit yourself under the Cross Control and forsake the unbiblical and dangerous idea of living your Christian life in cruise control mode. Get up from the pew and serve your Lord in the church building and in any other place you may be in at the moment.
We can find salvation at the cross. We can find rest at the cross. We can find peace, joy, love and power at the cross of Christ. The cross has become our banner and all those that are under its control will be truly blessed in this life and in the next. Paul understood the power of the cross and rejoiced in it, as he exclaimed:
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14).
Right now, I’m seating in a mandatory meeting about mental health in the classroom. These meetings are a direct result of the recent school shootings. The state has mandated these training sessions in an effort to prevent these outbursts by identifying students with mental health problems.
In this recent meeting they are talking about all kinds of disorders. There is anxiety, substance, eating and other “disorders”, including psychosis and depression. The definition of a disorder is “mental illness” that affects our behavior.
As I reflect on this, I have conflicting thoughts in my mind. I have compassion for people that have real problems, but when we start labeling sinful behaviors as disorders, I cannot help but to totally disagree.
Calling sin, in all its expressions (rebellion, transgression, missing the mark, wickedness, immorality, etc.) a disorder is not only wrong, unbiblical and misleading; it is also downright dangerous and irresponsible.
An illness is something that affects our body and limits our physical activities in some form or another. Some of those sicknesses are self inflicted and some are quickly alleviated or healed by the application of medicine. The majority of illnesses, however, come to us and there is nothing we can do about it, except to wait until we are healed, or in many cases until we die from it.
Sin is not a disorder or an illness. Bad behavior (i.e. sin) is the result of our own sinful choices. We must stop blaming poverty, the society, traumas and “mental disorders” for our wickedness, immorality, drug abuse, crimes.
Blaming others (or other things) for our sin is as old as the human race. Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed the serpent and Adam blamed God by saying: “The woman whom you gave me” (Genesis 3:12).
This is exactly what happens when we begin to shift our own blame. Some blame society or their parents. Sooner or later the blame will ascend to our God, who created all the generations that contributed directly to our downfall.
James has something very powerful to say about all this:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:13-15).
By the way, I left the meeting halfway…