Yesterday morning Chris and I opted to stay home and attend church online. The in-laws were coming over, and our apartment needed a major post-illness cleaning.
I have to admit, I love church online. When we were moving, it was easy to pull up Life Church on the PS3 and listen in while we packed boxes. Last week when we were both sick, we stayed on the couch and still “went to church.” Yesterday, I cleaned the kitchen and listened to Pastor Rick at New Life share from the book of Proverbs. (I love Cross Point, but I have to admit I miss New Life. It’s such a fantastic church.)
To me, the most powerful part of the message was Pastor Rick’s emphasis that Proverbs is not so much a book of promises as it is a book of truisms. In other words, it’s a book full of things that are generally true about life for most people.
He used the example of Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Pastor Rick explained that many parents have been derailed by mistaking this verse for a promise rather than a truism. Parents do every thing they can to train their children correctly, but when a child grows older, it is the child’s choice whether or not to depart from his or her parents’ teaching. When that happens parents can often feel that God was not true to His promise, or they may feel guilt about their parenting abilities.
There are many promises in the book of Proverbs, but this new idea of looking at the content generally as truisms is really profound for me. I’ve never heard it taught this way, and I’m finding that I have to re-think some of my beliefs. I can’t help thinking, Have I blamed God for not doing things I thought he promised to do?
There are many times when life just doesn’t turn out the way that we think it should. As a Christian it is easy to feel entitled to a certain kind of life, but I am learning that that is not what living a Christian life is really about. Instead, it is about serving others, loving well, and living with wisdom.