The problem with the man who caused problems on my ship is that he leads a better life than I do. He does not cuss, he does not drink, swear, show pride, and a host of other outright sins, some of which I do commit. He has truly separated himself from the world, which is his claim based on the need to become holy, as the Father is holy.
I can't match that. May I be that honest? You can click away from my blog if you need to. I understand. But the one thing that bothers me about his life is that it is a more "pure" and "holy" life than I live. When he preaches his message of works, I often cringe. I have no such good works (not on that scale) to show potential converts. Unbelieving sailors who see me on the ship don't see a super Christian...they see Dan Smith...just a guy.
I'm not even particularly good at being just a guy. Half of the time I can't even decide what I want from that life either. It is a tough go some days.
Then again, the fact that I cannot measure up to that level of obedience keeps me, in some strange way, humble and accepting of the fact that only God can save me through his grace...through the blood. while I don't believe that salvation has to happen every day, I do see how my saved soul has to continually experience this grace that saved me in the first place.
More obedience is my goal, but I humbly accept that I am just me, and that God, for some strange reason, has kept me around despite that fact!
Who do unbelievers go to with questions, you or him?
After 25 years as a pastor (I was a boiler-man on a Destroyer Escort as a kid) I can say with confidence that God wants YOU, not your impression of some Super Saint.
I've struggled with answering your initial question because I'll inflate my head if I do. Maybe that is the point. God is bigger than me, and wants a relationship with me, not the perfect fantasy of me that I have tucked away in my mind. Thanks for the encouragement!
You are in a unique place of service, Brother. The tough-guy, independent nature--AND expectations of the military relegates "religion" to a crutch for weak sisters. But when the S**t hits the fan, tough guys start looking for God.
Give 'em Heaven!
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