A while back I started to write a blog about the fine line between a fruits ripeness and it being rotten. I have abandoned the other blog due to being unable to complete the original thought and now hope that I have found out how.
"So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush." Phillipians 1:9-10
I have loved the nectarine season and for a time found myself eating one almost everyday, sometimes more than one a day. Something that would drive me crazy, though, would be on the day that I would look at a nectarine and think, "Ah! This one is not quite all the way ripe yet. I will wait till tomorrow and then it will be perfect!" Then the next day dawns and I would find myself heading towards the nectarine only to find that it was now rotten, a huge black bruise making its way across one side of the fruit. Bummer. What a waste of something good. I started thinking about this last week after spending the weekend with two of my childhood friends. One I have known 23 years and the other 20 years. Whoa! Just seeing that typed out is blowing my mind. I have known and loved these girls for so long! After talking with them for quite some time we realized it has been many years since the three of us have all been together at the same place at the same time but we also realized it was easy to be together. We know each other. We each haven't really changed much and we still love each other. How can that be? I think it is this, we have loved each other in a way that is sincere and intelligent. I don't believe that our relationships have been founded or filled with the "sentimental gush" that Paul is talking about in Phillipians. That sentimental gush that is so frequently found in the church. That thing that is so close to being right but is actually rotten.
Sentimental-resulting from feeling rather than reason or thought.
So here are my thoughts about the sentimental or rotten "christian" and how not to become one. (side note- I can write on this subject because this has been me)
I had a teacher in a class once ask the students why they believe the bible is true. Many and I mean MANY students raise their hands and said that they realized it was true when they got saved and they read it and they felt the Lord or they were struggling and read something in the word and it jumped out at them and gave them comfort or someone spoke a message from the bible and the word grabbed a hold of them. While I have no doubt that all of these things happened and made a huge impact on the teller I was taken aback when my husband turned to the last person speaking and said "So if you take away your experience does that mean the bible is no longer true?" This is what the teacher had been waiting on. The bible is true outside of our feelings. God exists without us "feeling" His presence. We still need a Savior even when life is feeling pretty stable. It's when we get this line of thought unbalanced and start living out our relationship with the Lord based on our emotions that we get into trouble. He is. When I am sitting at home feeling lonely or empty or dry or unmotivated, He still is. I don't need to sentimentally make up or hype up something to try to conjure up my God, He is without all of that. So back to Phillipians:
"So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush."
I want a love for the Lord and others that is sincere and intelligent. I want a love that is real and "ripe" and can spread and be tested and found to be trustworthy to others. I want to have a faith that is firmly planted in a real God who exists even when I don't feel Him. What an awesome God that is who IS outside of my fluctuating emotions. What a better more honest worshipper I can be at the point I realize this. No more sentimental gush for me, that only destroys and cheapens and wastes what is already perfectly good.