Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)
When I was little, I used to love game shows. Looking back, it’s almost kind of embarrassing. I would pull things out from all over the house to use as props to reenact my favorite shows (for those who also remember the 80’s, my personal favorites were Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Jokers Wild and Let’s Make a Deal. Yeah, that’s probably already too many).
I used to love watching people on Let’s Make a Deal. If you’ve never seen it, here’s a bird’s eye view of what happens. First, everyone in the audience dresses themselves up in humiliating costumes, just like Halloween. A random person is called and given a prize or a chance for one. Then, when they get it, they can negotiate for another prize behind a wall or in a box, and often shoot themselves in the foot in the process. Watching the agony of a grown man in a hot dog suit negotiate to see what’s in the box is kind of priceless.
I wonder if God looks at us just as awkwardly when we try to negotiate with him. We’ve all been there. Something doesn’t seem to be going well, and we make all kinds of promises. Even if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, there’s still the temptation to fall back to this, though it may look a little different. We examine our lives (rightly) to see if there is some kind of sin that’s messing everything up. Then we either force something that isn’t there, promise to do something different, or take a minor issue and think God is causing catastrophe because of it. I don’t want to belittle the fact that God uses circumstance to point out issues of sin. I just think that we often forget that our sin is taken care of and continue to try to punish ourselves for it.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. -Hebrews 10:11-14
Even though the price has been paid, we often try to pay it again. We try to show God our sincerity, make amends to God, or beat ourselves up for something we’ve done wrong. We need to get past that and embrace the security that God has offered through his glorious death on the cross.
Questions to Consider…
-Are there any sin issues in my life that I have to deal with?
-Am I punishing myself for issues that have already been done with?
-When I honestly evaluate my life (take a few minutes to do that), am I trying to earn back God’s forgiveness?
Adam Wormann is a Youth Pastor in Old Bridge, NJ where he’s been serving for the past 8 years. He is also one of the mentors at Life in Student Ministry and the editor of the “Time Out” series. You can stalk him on Twitter and Facebook.
Posted on November 1, 2010