Sunday, June 7, 2009
Are we having fun yet?
This is seemingly a pretty simple, cut-and-dry topic. As a parent, your child should sit with you, end of story. However, knowing the society in which we live, where the child often dictates to the parent instead of vice versa, it is no surprise that the young person often sits anywhere they please. So what's the big deal, you may ask. At least they're in church; that's the important thing, right? Well, let's look at it from the opposite perspective. Why would they not want to sit with their parents? They can get away with more; they can pass notes or "text"; they can slouch through the service; they can skip the singing; they can stare at the ground during the preaching and not pay attention. You're right - there is absolutely no reason why we should not let our children sit where they please. But, you may argue, my child wouldn't do that. Perhaps, but how do you know if you're not there to watch them? Here's the real bottom line - in churches today, generally the focus is on feeling good, and having fun. With this mindset, we want our young people to "enjoy the service", and so we let them do what they want. Problem is, where is that philosophy found in Scripture? It's not. Church is not about having fun. I know that sounds great, but it's true. Can you enjoy going to church? Yes, if you go with a desire to learn, and hear from the Lord, church will be a blessing. Unfortunately, many go with a welfare mentality, looking only to get what they can. The more I study the Bible, the more I see God blesses when we put out an effort, when we purpose to seek Him, when we begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness. We've been so conditioned in our society to expect something for nothing, that we have taken that attitude to God. God, however, lives beyond our culture, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. It's time we stop trying to bring God down to us, and lowering His standards to fit our comfort zone. In closing, working with young people, I have found a very important truth - those who are in submission to authority and are right with them, have a good time no matter what they do; those who are not, always seem to struggle to keep a smile on their face and are always searching for something new and exciting to satisfy their desires and passions. While it is no sin to sit with a friend, it tells a lot about the condition of the heart, and as it says in Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.