What is That to You?

I’m a fairly insecure person. It could be some people-pleaser oldest child syndrome or some INFP stuff. Regardless, I’m always curious about what other people are doing, what other people are thinking, and where I line up on those spectrums.

Unfortunately, social networking and blogging has made chasing those questions all too easy. So I chase, absorb, and dwell on this information. I worry sometimes that my mind is like an episode of Hoarders. All this stuff building up inside and one day my sanity is going to be found rotting under a pile of Jesus-y tweets from megapastors.

There is much floating out in the internet that make me feel like a stranger in my own faith. And it hits closer to home when those things that make me feel strange have been cast out to digital sea by people I have known.

Of course, it’s not just the fights. I feel insecure when I see the beautiful things people are doing with their faith. They are using their God-given talents to help those in need, minister to all kinds of people, and create deep-reaching art. I feel very ineffective when I look at those people even though I know in my head that they are just as flawed as I am.

After Jesus gives a three-part shot at redemption in John 21, he asks Peter to follow him. Peter looks over and sees the beloved disciple. In the Gospel according to John, the beloved disciple is the star pupil, the one that seemed to hold on when the others fell away. “What about him?” Peter asks. Jesus responds, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me.”

That passage has been on my mind a lot recently. I imagine having that conversation with Jesus about all these insecurities. But Jesus, there’s this megapastor. He’s super-popular and tons of people my age think he’s awesome. He gets re-tweeted all the freaking time, even when he’s just quoting stuff from the Bible. But I don’t agree with a lot of what he says and I think he’s kind of a jerk and…

"What is that to you? Follow me."

But I don’t feel like I really fit in all the time. I don’t vote straight-ticket Republican. I don’t really have a desire to see Courageous or Fireproof. I have questions and doubts and I’m still trying to unpack what I believe. And I feel like some church people would think I’m not even a Christian to have questions… 

"What is that to you? Follow me."

I’m not exactly one of your star pupils. I’m not feeding the hungry or preaching to people on a regular basis. I have a trouble praying beyond meals on a regular basis. For Pete’s sake, I get writer’s block about three times a week just trying to write blogs about my relationship with you. There are better people. I can show them to you…

"Chris, do you love me?"

That’s the earlier part of the conversation between Jesus and Peter; the three-part redemption. Three times, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him. Three times, Peter responds that he does. Three times, Jesus asks Peter to take care of his sheep.

And I do love Jesus. I’m not perfect. I’m not the typical outgoing extrovert that I typically see in ministry. I may not exactly fit in. And I certainly don’t have everything figured out. But I love Jesus. So what is that other stuff to me?

Oh, it’s there and it’s real. I’m going to still be hit by insecurities and self-doubt. Those things are not going to disappear. Yet I will follow Jesus the best that I can. I love him and so that’s all I can do.

We All Need a Place to Be a Small Stranger

Sheep, Goats, and Dangerous Prayers