Monday, August 18, 2008
#25 Asking Someone "How's Your Walk With God?"
This question is as acutely personal as asking "How's sex with your wife?" and yet many Christians feel entitled to casually ask it of each other.
Settings in which you are likely to be asked "How's your walk with God?" include:
—men's prayer breakfasts
—ladies' weekend retreats
—a pre-dawn prayer group that meets weekly and involvescoffee
—if you have just tried to be vulnerable with someone and discuss your recent hardships with them.
When this question is asked, any of the following may legitmately be assumed:
—that the person asking this is saying it as a Christian culture version of asking "how are you?" and is not super interested in your honest answer.
—that the person asking it wants to hear you say something positive because that will be more comfortable for them.
—that if you tell this person that you don't know what a walk with God is, they will feel a mite superior to you, then feel the need to "minister" to you.
—that if you tell this person that your walk with God plain sucks, they will not know what to say and could possibly want to get away from you.
—that this person believes that if someone's walk with God is good then their life will be easier.
—that this person thinks a good walk with God involves a sort of formula.
So what does constitute a good walk with God? Well, it was rather nebulously defined by Jesus as "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40) But that is kind of vague. People prefer formulas. So Christian culture made some.
Chistian culture's formula for a "good" walk with God (based upon man-made strategies and qualifications for what "a good walk with God" means) includes:
—regular "quiet times" or "devotions"
—a daily regimen of ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication)
—being consistent in meeting with your accountability partner and/or spiritual mentor
—attending your weekly Bible study or MOPS group for some fellowship
—memorizing scripture (preferred methods: the Navpress TMS or 2:7 series)
—striking up conversations with random people in Starbucks for the purpose of "reaching out" and eventually asking them to your church
—spending time with "uplifting" fellow Christians and not very much time with non-Christians (they can drag you down with their non-Christian worldview)
—displaying a positive exterior (see #7 Acting Happy)
*Not masturbating is big in Christian culture. It is discussed almost exclusively and with great fervor amongst the male sector and is generally assumed that girls don't do it so they don't need "outreach" for it. The feverish attention lavished upon the phenomenon of male lust within Christian culture will be explored further in a future post.