It’s been broken for months. I force it to stay in its place on my keyboard, and it wiggles like a lose tooth. The key detached itself, having been used for a few years since the day I bought my MacBook. But why was it the U key? I don’t use “U” as often as I might use “E.” Isn’t that odd? Why did the U key break?
I think it’s symbolic. Only I would look at it with symbolic value, and we’re given our interpretations for a reason. The U key is broken. The U key broke off. It detached itself. “You are broken.” I detached myself. I am broken.
I’m tempted to buy a new computer because all the keys need cleaning, and there’s a few scratches on the shell, but I can’t buy a new laptop.
It costs a lot to have all of these things fixed. Ironically, I can’t do this, because like the U key, I’m broke. I can’t afford any of these things, and I don’t have the skill set to fix my computer on my own. (Parallel to how a person cannot buy themselves a life without brokenness…)
One of the most biblical “unbiblical” ideas in our culture is the belief that everything happens for a reason. For the believer, this is especially true. (Romans 8:28) Why are we given struggles? Why are all things for the good of the believer?
It is because this life is not only for us. This life is hardly ours. We are not our own. We live for God. For the good of the believer can be for the closeness to Christ, which is also for the glory of God. This is the Christian faith. This is what makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. We live this life with the next in mind. We live life because Christ gave us Himself. We live for God’s glory.
Why do we need Him? Because we are broken. It is our nature to be broken. It is our purpose to need Him. The person who doesn’t believe may not understand, because how can a person see what they need when they don’t know why they’re in need?
The Christian faith is the most offensive, because the Bible tells us we aren’t able on our own. It not only tells us we aren’t capable, but that there is something wrong with us, and we can’t even do anything to fix it. Having faith in a Savior means you understand the need to be saved.
It’s not possible to go through life without hardships. It is impossible to go without having grown through trial. And this is why we face challenges. We are not given our stories because God knows we can handle them. This is a lie I believed when I was younger. It was self-sufficient.
But the Christian faith is not self-sufficient. We are not able. We are given things that we cannot handle alone. We cannot work toward perfection. We cannot earn salvation. It has already been given to us. It is not a transaction on our part, because we have been paid for.
I’ve been focusing on self-sufficiency lately, and how endless it is. It goes nowhere.
In my second semester of college, I looked for Christian community, and it brought me to finding an on-campus fellowship. I decided to meet with the young man leading the fellowship for Bible studies on our own. I discovered as our meetings continued that he thought salvation could be earned. Faith wasn’t enough, and to be saved, you had to evangelize and get baptized. To him, this is how you become reborn. This definition of a Christian is wrong. A Christian is not someone saved simply by following Christ in imitating His attitude, as we will all fall into sin at one point or another. A Christian is someone who knows Christ and is saved by what He has done. Through this, we follow Him.
The confusion stems from the word “follow.” It is easy to apply “What Would Jesus Do?” throughout the day. But this is not how we are saved. WWJD is not Christianity. God does not tell us to earn our salvation by working for Him. Instead, we are told to believe (this is the foundation) and glorify through all we do, but it is not the doing that saves us.
It is the glorifying. It is the loving. It is the heart (in Christ). It is the mind (in Christ). It is the soul (in Christ). It is the strength (in Christ). It’s internal, but what goes on inside someone tends to be reflected on the outside.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
The fruit is of love. It is love because we have been loved. We called to Him because He first called to us. We do not have to earn anything. The “cost to being a Christian,” a topic that one of the Bible studies was based on, is non-existent. We are saved by grace. We are given love. He knows we are not able. He knows we cannot live on our own.
And His response is love.
His response is, “Then don’t live for the things that can break you. Live for the One who let Himself be broken for you.”
We are to have freedom through Him. If we sin, we are forgiven. It is by accepting this love that we are followers of Christ. We are not simply supposed to be mimickers, but believers. As people who know God, we are meant to love Him in return. We are meant to dedicate our lives to him with the fruit we are given.
The act of reading our Bibles does not help our salvation, but the desire to listen and what we gain from Scripture is pure. The act of sharing the Gospel does not make us Christians, but the desire to tell others about our Savior is rightful. It is by these things that we show our dependency on Him. In this, He is glorified. But we do not rely on works. We rely on Him.
In the world today, self-dependency means freedom and independence.
But we have forgotten, to be separated from the Word would be no freedom at all. If we are given truth and choose to live without it, then we are holding ourselves back from what is real. To live without the Gospel would be like going to school but not attending any classes. It would be like a well-informed, registered voter choosing not to take part in an election.
The point of life is lost without Christ.
And we are not able on our own.