Don't Turn Back
By Jesse Pingenot in Student
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Heb 4:11-13).
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36-37).
For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death (2 Cor 7:8-10).
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God (John 3:18-21).
“I feel so much better about myself now that I don’t believe in God.”
I’ve heard this and sentiments like it many times from students and friends who decide to turn their backs on Christ. It grieves me every time. When people turn from light and life because they will feel better without it, when people choose death and falsehood, it truly grieves me.
And the worst thing is, I want to say, “Of course you feel better about yourself!” It makes total sense! But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t real!
It’s easy to feel good about yourself in the dark. It’s easy to say you’re fine just the way you are when you have nothing by which to see your flaws. It’s much more difficult when the light of truth shines on you and you can see all the ways you fall short. So of course they feel better about themselves!
I used to work in a factory pressing and bending parts for apartment-style mailboxes out of sheet metal. When you work in manufacturing, you become very familiar with something called quality control.
Quality control is where you take the part you’ve just produced and you make sure it fits the specifications—that it measures up to what is needed. When making parts, you use something called a micrometer: a device that measures in hundredths of a millimeter, smaller than you can really tell the difference (hence the need for the micrometer).
Why do you do this? Because if the part doesn’t have the right measurements, even on such a small scale—and even with something as simple as a mailbox—the mailbox won’t fit together right.
Without quality control, it’s very easy to press out your parts and just say, “looks good enough,” and pass it on. And then your mailboxes don’t fit together right.
We do something similarly with Christ. Christ is our standard. Perfection is our standard. We are always striving to be like Christ. And, naturally, we won’t measure up completely. And it’s very easy to get discouraged.
So I very easily understand why someone might say they feel better about themselves without God. So they just say that God doesn’t exist, because that’s easier. But that doesn’t make it right.
Imagine this: Michelangelo is working on his famous statue of David. He is using a model, because that’s what you do when you’re trying to carve a realistic statue of a person; you don’t just go by what you picture in your head.
Now, what if Michelangelo had gotten to some point where he had the rough outline of his model, in the right pose and everything. And then he said, “Why am I even bothering? No matter how hard I try, this statue will never be like my model. It will always remain made of marble, not flesh and bone. It will always be white, not the color of flesh and hair. I will never be able to carve this stone to be exactly like this model, so I’m just going to give up.”
Why would he have done that? It doesn’t make sense. Of course his statue will never be exactly like his model. That’s just the reality of it. That doesn’t mean he should give up.
And Michelangelo’s inability to perfectly replicate his model has no bearing on whether or not his model exists.
But that’s exactly what these people are doing! They’re saying, “I can’t make myself exactly like God, and I feel bad about that. So I’m just going to give up. And to make that easier to swallow, I’m just going to say God doesn’t exist.”
It’s understandable. But it doesn’t make sense, and it’s not true.
No, you won’t ever measure up. I won’t say that that’s okay. But that’s the way it is.
Don’t despise the light because it reveals your flaws. Embrace the light because it’s the truth and because it’s where life is.
For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything (1 John 3:20).
You won’t be 100 percent perfect. But that’s no reason for condemnation. Rather, remember that God is greater than your imperfection, and He loves you as only the Father can!
God loves you! More than you will ever know!
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.