Centreville, Virginia 2007: It’s a joy to hold and scratch and love a sweet puppy. However, to be dogged by the pot holes and trials of life is quite another story. Allowed to do so, Christ easily fixes the latter in order to give us lives full of the former.

From Trent Ling:

“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.”  Colossians 3:4.

God has designed Christ to be our lives in an all-consuming way.  Disciples of Jesus lacking this requisite measure of Christ in their lives are dogged and troubled by difficulties and defeats.  Such a harried and harassed existence becomes especially obvious within interpersonal relationships.  Dogged by misgivings and angst, and by shortages of peace and power, the troubled are thereby shown that much more of Christ must somehow be obtained.  Supremacy of Christ in any life will ironically straighten and heal all other relationships in that life as far as it depends upon that life (Romans 12:18).  Running thin in this regard subjects lives to constant setbacks and bothers.

Spouses require harmony and a mutual sense of adequacy.  Without Christ, unity becomes a moment-by-moment hope for the best.  Marriage collapses into up and down yo-yo Ville.  And how in the world are spouses supposed to be found adequate for each other when not even Christ (in the measure obtained) has been enough?  How can a husband or wife satisfy where Jesus has supposedly failed?  Impossible.

Parents must see to children’s needs and progress.  But without the primacy of Christ paying the freight, parental needs arise and begin to compete for parental attention.  Atop all of this, kids’ needs become burdensome, expensive, and ultimately exhausting.  Further, it becomes impossible to lead children in the path of progress when the parents have refused to follow the very examples set out for them in the first place.  Hypocrisy makes for horrible leadership.

As a commonly understood dynamic, grown children can still sense judgment from their parents and yet remain called to honor those very parents.  These adult children, without Christ in sufficient measure, will be moved and bothered by even the illusion of hovering, whispering parents.  How can they then turn and earnestly honor such parents?  Conversely, those who follow Christ are subject to nobody’s judgment (1 Corinthians 2:15), and can rather easily turn their attention to fulfilling the Scriptures to honor their parents regardless of the weird dynamic.  Without Christ, the bough breaks and the call to honor parents becomes an impossible burden.

Fellowship in the faith should be sweet.  But when not based upon Christ and his empowerment, honestly and earnestly getting with the brothers and sisters becomes a burden rather than its intended joy.  In addition, all of the sudden, attitudes percolate and many begin to surmise that the fellowship has not been all that helpful anyway.  Of course, Christ is the superior help, but the slack in a relationship with him leaves one wrongly but longingly eyeing the fellowship which cannot even begin to compete with the healing powers of the Son who has already been rejected.  What a mess.

Many find their work unfulfilling and too all-encompassing.  Of course, given the chance, Christ would direct work and set parameters for it.  Without Christ weighing in on such matters, work drifts, goals muddle, and unfulfilling days and overwhelming pressures become telltale signs from God that something has gone seriously wrong.  But a lackluster relationship with Christ, and not one’s employment, will always be the source of the problem.

Sadly, no matter what obvious signs from heaven point to the dire need for more of Christ, people will mutter under their breath against spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters in the faith, and hapless co-workers, bosses, and underlings.  At some point, may we all see how we are dogged in life because of a lack of the Christ who was sent to pave the way to fix all of these potential troubles before they could even start or present themselves.  So in looking down on others, may we see the reflection of our lives only meagerly partaking of the Son.

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Dogged — 5 Comments

  1. True, true, and true! The frustration in life can be easily experienced by me without Christ; so easily confused. May we nod as we read this posting and act on it.

  2. I cannot imagine life without Christ! Everything will be so fake! I will be consumed by my feeling! That’s scary.

  3. I remember when “time machine type” movies became popular (80’s). How entertaining to see how things would change when something different happened in the traveled time zone and when they returned there was a major difference. Not so entertaining yet similar is this article and my life (as the above tags me perfectly). I’ve recently experienced how decisions are made (or not made) and then when lived out they are horribly shown to be affecting others. When, if Christ had been followed when offered, how different it would’ve been! (Insert here — the aching humility of personal failure) (And for others to pray for God to help them in sober judgment of themselves so it doesn’t have to go that way for them).
    How can I look down on others when they’re probably doing the same things from the pages of my own life?
    I am so thankful for God’s mercy and how it personally offers a way to lovingly accept others. Thank you Father.

  4. Sad – that instead of loving our King we try to substitute with so many idols – God help me to seek first the kingdom – I want joy in my life but the real joy and relationships – but only those God gives me. Thanks Trent again for sobering food.

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