The modern person of faith is challenged to live out their spiritual beliefs in the midst of everyday living. They problem is that we’re satisfied with that. ♦
People of faith, regardless the religion, can be mapped along a spectrum of commitment and activity of their belief system. On one extreme is one who is very devout and heavily “practiced” in their faith; on the other end is one who is nominal, “not really practicing” their religion, but perhaps still identifying with their church denomination, most likely the church of their youth and upbringing.
Of course, there’s a bell curve distribution of the masses in between those two extremes where people strongly identify with a belief in God, recognize the value of the “Holy Bible” and would even claim Jesus as the Son of God who died on a cross for our sins. The world, and ourselves, call us Christians, followers of Jesus.
But of course, we’re not really. Harsh but true. For all this belief and faith, the daily life and weekly routines of many Christians are not reflective of a sanctified or holy life.
For many of us, we can be labeled the “60-Minute Christian.”
60 Minutes a Week If We’re Lucky
For most of my life I fell into this camp. I came to faith at age 14 in a youth group at a hometown Baptist church. I grew in my knowledge and understanding, but by the time I left for college I was hardly living a life of committed faith and devotion. I certainly never “lost my religion,” in fact I deceived myself into believing I was a “strong Christian.” I was, at best, what I would now call a 60-Minute Christian.
That’s 60 minutes, as in per week! That’s about all the time and attention I gave to matters of my Christian faith.
What was I thinking? Apparently not much.
Like Most “Christians”
The problem for many who fall into this deceitful trap of the 60-Minute Christian is as follows:
- We believe in God and Jesus and the Bible and so we think ourselves “a good Christian.”
- We pray to God (for our circumstances to turn out well) and so we must be “a good Christian.”
- We go to church (sometimes) and so must be “a good Christian” (or at least have good intentions as a good person).
If we were to track the time we think and pray and average out church attendance, we’re spending an hour a week on our faith. So much for the sanctified life. You can actually double, triple, even quadruple your time allotment (the 4-Hour Christian?) but we’re still deceiving ourselves.
You see it’s really not a time thing.
This is not the life that Christ called us to or Paul the Apostle wrote about in the New Testament, when The Way burst on the world scene after Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit of God was released on earth during the festival of Pentecost in Jerusalem only weeks after Christ’s accession.
The Way/Christianity changed the world. It should change our lives.
How to Change
It’s high time we got serious about our life and our Christian walk. It took me years to move through and beyond phases of good Christian activity – weekly church attendance, small group social fellowship, even Bible studies, camps/retreats and sundry Christian gatherings of like-minded and well-meaning people on the same journey.
I dare say, most of us are 60-minute Christians at some level.
Christian activity is not where the change comes. These activities are not bad – they are actually good if they truly point you to the Answer. Anything less than that is a waste of time and an exercise is deceitful religious behavior.
But the Answer is personal. It’s not a group activity. It’s about You and God. You and Jesus, actually, as the approachable High Priest, the manifest incarnation of God the Creator with whom we can perpetually engage and interact via His Holy Spirit which yearns for us to immerse in fellowship with him. Every day. All the time. It’s Christ in you, in all aspects of your life. Not you doing things.
If that’s not the case then you’re going through empty motions. You may very well be a 60-minute Christian.
The change can come in different ways for different people. My change came through extended prayer time. I was given by a friend a framework for a daily prayer (see John Eldredge’s Ransomed Heart Ministries website). At first resisting a written out prayer (very strange to me and my background), I found it simply took me into a mindset of worship and surrender, praying Biblical passages, promises and truths. My prayers went from less than 1 minute “arrow prayers” (random reach outs to God asking for help with this or help with that), to 15 minutes of private on-my-knees prayer daily for each member of my family, my work and impact, my direction, my daily activity on all fronts. And a deep abiding relationship with my Creator.
It took months. It’s now been years. No, it’s not about daily time with God – it’s about daily heart, mind and will surrender. Everyday a mindshift submission from my will to His will. As promised, God has been transforming and renewing my mind. Not to perfection, but to possession. Possession of Him in me through His Spirit.
How about you?
Are you merely seeking time with God or a life of full surrender?
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong….It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-30