Tips and Tricks to Living a Christian Life
Tips and Tricks
We all know the story…a man runs up to Jesus and asks what he must do to be saved. Jesus tells him that he must give up all he has, and follow Jesus. The man walks away sad, “for he had great possessions.”
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter displays his remarkable ability to act on instinct…and he’s an instinctive fighter. He sees Jesus in danger, and throws himself into battle without a thought for his own safety. At this point, you can’t help but think of Peter as a man of action. A soldier for Christ. But hours later, he’s so frightened that he can’t even admit to knowing Jesus.
In our modern world of science, we’re sometimes tempted to think of prayer, petition, and merit as a mathematic equation. “Pray about X for Y number of hours, fasting for W days, and X will be answered.” We’ve come to expect an immediate answer to our problems…like a simple program that has occasional bug, but generally works well with a few clicks of the mouse.
It would be a lot easier to accept a negative answer from God if Jesus hadn’t insisted on telling us about moving mulberry trees and mountains and receiving whatsoever one asks. But he did say all that, and when we don’t get what we ask for, it leaves us feeling a little confused. We start to wonder why Jesus said it at all.
I hear people (especially Protestants) talk about confession as a way to clear the conscience for Catholics. “They do what they want, and then they just confess it and all is forgiven.” This, of course, is said with a tone of sarcasm that lets you know the whole idea of confession is something they think silly, if not dangerous.