Right now I’m in a book club with some interns and staff at my church. We are two chapters into Dietirch Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Here he gives his “ideas” for what christian community should look like. I use the word “ideas” lightly b/c Bonhoeffer writes them more as mandates; which part of me appreciates and part of me is bothered by. He has a strict outline for what scriptures to read, what time of day to read them, and who in the group should read them. Same goes for prayer, meal times, and even singing. As I read and discussed this, everything inside of me was looking for a loophole. It’s too rigid- what about freedom, God created personality types, or just the context in which he is writing (look into Bonhoeffer’s life if you haven’t, it’s incredible)? I offer these ideas to the group hoping they are all impressed. And then… as it seems to go in book clubs, one guy say something, actually brilliant, “The only real reason I don’t want to do the things he’s saying is because I’m selfish and I want to do things my own way and fit God in as I please.”
Well, crap…thanks, Nate..now I feel like a jerk. Not only was he right but he exposed my selfishness. His comment has stayed with me all week. I’ve noticed tons of areas where I fit God into my life as I please. My instinct is to rationalize my way while still applying God’s name to it. My brilliant college roommate, Stine, used to say, “Rationalize your way to hell, little one” to me all the time. Turns out, I’m still learning this.