Some of the worst advice I ever got was at a very terrible time in my life. I was extremely overweight and at the brink of heart failure. I was struggling in my marriage and someone looked at me and said, “The problem, Martha, is that you are not abandoned in Christ.”
I’m not kidding.
I know what this sentence means. I’m no dummy. BUT, when you really think about this phrase, it’s one of the most ridiculous pieces to offer an intelligent person. It’s mostly regurgitated baby food. Sorry.
I was raised in the Baptist church. Went to church every Sunday, even on Wednesday. Baptized at 6. Re-baptized at 16. Oh, didn’t know u could get re-baptized? Yeah. Baptists dunk until it takes. Or you stop breathing. I can say that, I was a Baptist. I may even get dunked a third time. Just because I can.
All kidding aside…I liked going to church. I heard many stories, memorized many bible verses, did alot of swimming inside many a baptismal pool. 🙂 People at church were nice. at least the grownups were. I was petted like a dog at least once every Sunday. some old lady would inevitably coo over my chubby cheeks, curly pigtails or reserved, ladylike behavior (You can’t climb fences in a dress. Well, you can, but there aren’t many fences at church. Well, the climbing kind.) And Baptists are the eating-est religious sect that I’ve ever seen. Those potlucks gave me my fill of tasty treats and wondrous casseroles. But in all my bible-reading and lesson-learning, I don’t remember reading scripture about abandonment in Christ. I just Biblegateway’d that phrase, I don’t see anything about it. Granted, I’m not looking very hard. There are plenty of hits on google (articles about this topic), but i don’t see a biblical scripture using those specific words.
I understand the concept. I just think it’s a bunch of hooey.
And this verse of the day from Biblegateway confirms my thinking.
1 Peter 1:13 NIV
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”
Abandoned in Christ leaves me with this feeling…forget about everything and be swept away in Jesus. Let’s get drunk on Jesus.
Aw. That’s a nice thought. I imagine Beyonce. In one of her signature body suits. Singing Drunk in Love (with Jesus). Beyonce is now abandoned in Christ. Let us pray. With Bey.
Seriously though, abandoned in Christ. Or to Christ. Or with Christ. On Christ. Whatever. Pick a preposition. I just think this is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. And to boot, it doesn’t work.
Maybe it does. For some people. Maybe it does. But I say those people are ostriches with heads in the sand. Loving Jesus while the world burns. You’ve kinda missed the point! We love Jesus by loving the world (the people in it).
I’ve tried. I’ve tried to abandon myself to Christ. In Christ. Whatever. I love Jesus. I believe in Jesus. I seek him every day. I understand that he left his spirit for us. I know that he died for us. I believe that he lives through our actions. I know that he is the face and hands and feet of my neighbors, friends and loved ones. I know that he is found in the kind acts that bring healing to this planet and he is the last stand of love against the violence, starvation and evil of the world. I know these things with almost certainty. But I’ve never been lost in Christ. I’ve never been shipwrecked on the shore of Christianity, splitting open coconuts of wisdom while everyone else busily ignores my paradise. That’s never happened. I’ve tried.
We don’t lose our self in Christ. I don’t think that is what happens. I think we are found! We are not isolated any longer. We are found! We reach out for others and they reach out for us. We see each other’s struggle and we pull each other along in the muddy tug-of-war against life. We tell the truth because it’s hard and right. We sober our minds because we do not want to be lulled into a sinful sleep! We are not abandoned, we are found! He has found us, he has called us, he has paired us up with those that need us. He wakes us up with his words and we build tall cities of shining truth that are a light to the world. We’re not alone on a island of Christ. We are the urban sprawl of love that will eventually fill the waving fields of loneliness. We are bound together in our love. We have fired our flare gun of desperation, spelled out S-O-S with palm trees on the beach and he sees us from the rescue chopper. We are jumping up and down and we fall to our knees and we cry, “We are found! Thank God, he found us.”
Ahem. I got the preacher sweats on that paragraph.
I say abandoned in Christ is mostly regurgitated baby food because…when you’re a baby Christian, you get fed a lot of ground-up, watered-down, easy-to-understand horse hockey because someone, somewhere heard a thing that they liked and now they won’t stop sharing it because they think if they offer you a cookie of wisdom, you’ll gobble it down and grow on it. Kind of like the spiritual equivalent of “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” Which I really, really hate that saying with all my hips. That’s a lot.
Believe me, I get it. We lose our self in Christ, blah, blah, blah because no one can see “US” any more. He covers us. We are gone. We don’t exist any longer. We are reborn, we bear his image, I get it. But we aren’t gone. I’m still here. I love Christ with everything I’ve got, but I’m still here. The scared, lonely little girl who got hurt over and over is still here. And the only thing that helps is knowing that God never lost me. I tried to get lost, but he found me. Over and over. I don’t wanna get lost again. I want to be found.