I knew a farmer who wanted to know everything there was to know about tractors. The genesis of this man’s fascination began when he was a child. His father took him to a farm show, and there on display were tractors of all kinds of specificity. Some were designed for the purpose of planting, and others to haul heavy machinery like a tiller to turn over the fields. He loved them so much that he wanted to become an engineer, and learn all the intricate details of these tractors.
As the child grew older, however he learned tractors were more complicated then he initially thought. He realized the sacrifices that would be necessary to be an expert at such a task, to learn all the special jargon, but he was content with just driving it. The engine was the most frightening, and least part of the tractor that the farmer understood. As long as he could drive it, the engine was irrelevant to him.
One day out, the farmer was alone in the field and the tractor’s radiator over-heated. As a result, he gave up on the tractor, leaving it in the field, and went out to buy a new one.
This story may sound silly, but this helps illustrate how I think most Christians unconsciously think about Christianity. So many in the Church have become so content with the fundamentals of Christianity that it lacks serious depth, and knowledge. As Christians, to use the metaphor of a plant, our growth to develop as mature believers in Christ is not only dependent on how high we grow but also how deep we grow in the soil.
Spiritual age is not contingent upon ones physical age. Yet, I have seen people in the Church who have served there for more than 15 years and they still act like infants. I might be bold enough to say that it is a sin not to grow in Christ, and it is perhaps an indicator that one does not know the person of Christ. The idea is that a believer is in a constant struggle to be made more like Christ. He runs after this unattainable prize, and as a result of pursuing he grows in the knowledge of God.
The Gospel is sufficient to sustain the Christian believer to his death, but some Christians never truly experience the peace and grace that is understood in Paul’s writings because they look through the lens of a microscope. Their Christianity sometimes does not go beyond what they learned about when they first heard the Gospel.
As a result, the Gospel remains within such an individual only on Wednesday nights, and Sunday mornings. Since the Gospel does not explicitly tell one how to engage in the world around them, their impact for advancing the Kingdom is limited to the context of other believers at Church. Few and far are those people who spontaneously come up to you, and ask you to tell them the Gospel (even though I have actually had this happen to me, a stranger too).
I personally want a Christianity that tells me how to think about the world around me in every aspect of life’s circumstances. I want a Christianity that tells me the importance of planning and how to make wise decisions. A Christianity that can help me get along with people I disagree with, and learn how to discern truth from the false. I want a Christianity that tells me how I can use every conversation, every word to point them to Christ.
I have read many books, on discipleship, evangelism, communication books, and even secular books, like Dale Carnage’s, “How to win Friends and Influence People,” but never has a book been more comprehensive in teaching me everything I need to know on how to live a life completely satisfied than the Bible.
The Bible is a big book. Don’t be afraid to consult it, as the Sunday school cliché goes, it has all the answers, truly. Many Christians are groping around this world trying to grab hopelessly to anything that’ll secure them. Look through the world with a Biblical lens then you’ll realize that there is nothing you do that the Bible does not teach you. Stop falling into the cultural defaults, be like Hollywood, or make this much money, live in this kind of house. You are defined by Christ, you are holy, you are pure, perfect, beautiful, and beyond precious in the sight of God. However, you can only know this if you are growing in a relationship with him.