So What?

If I have to go on one more extended hunt for the TV remote, I am gonna lose it!

Seriously, if I come into the living room one more time and that remote is not in the little basket where all the remotes go, even the ones that control things we’re pretty sure we don’t own anymore, I am going to ground everyone in the family.

Even Kathy.

OK… I’m not that stupid, but it seriously does tick me off.

I have watched my boys argue, fight, whine and wrestle for the remote. Usually, I can understand why they want to score that prize, but sometimes they really throw me for a loop.

Sometimes they will battle and steal the remote in the midst of a program only to… do nothing.

  • No channel change.
  • No volume change.
  • No menu guide check to see what we’re watching, when its over or what else is on.

They just pry it out of the other’s hand, and hold it! What good is that?

After musing this puzzle on several occasions it finally hit me: “They don’t want the remote, they just want to be in control.”

They are becoming little control junkies. Where in the world do they get that from?

Alright, I confess, it’s a family trait. But, I married into it freely.

Wow, I seriously cannot let Kathy read this. Mainly because I’m sure that trait was passed down through my line (Sorry babe, I’ll quit projecting).

Control.

From what I have seen as pastor for more than a decade, it’s a major issue for a lot of people. Control freak, authority issues, politician, whatever you want to call it, it appears to be a human trait.

Here are just a few ways this little moral hiccup expresses itself:

  1. You refuse to let anyone else drive on long trips. If you aren’t behind the wheel it makes you nervous.
  2. When you go to public places like church or coffee shops, you are silently offended when someone is “In your spot.”
  3. You refuse to answer any phone that doesn’t have caller ID.
  4. You have written two or more Letters to the Editor on the basis that “Those people are so stupid, someone needs to say something,” regardless of who the target is.
  5. You pass people on the highway just because you can’t stand to be behind someone.
  6. You think password protection is awesome and wish it could be used on things like the food in the office refrigerator and your favorite stall in the bathroom.

If one or more of these didn’t seem funny to you, you may have control issues.

It’s okay, you are amongst friends here. It all starts with the admission:

“Hi. My name is (insert your name here), and I am a control freak.”

One of the places I see this controlling tendency time after time is in the church.

People want to know more and more about God, but never do anything with the knowledge they have attained.

They just want to hold the remote.

It hit me recently when I read a passage of Scripture I have preached at least a dozen times:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. The Holy Bible  : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), 2 Ti 3:16-17.

In the past I have focused on words like God-breathed to talk about the divine nature of Scripture.

I’ve talked about teaching to push the discipleship issues, talked about rebuking to emphasize the holy scolding, talked about correcting to illustrate the right way planned out for us, and talked about training to speak of our accountability and preparation.

I’ve even talked about being equipped to show the church’s responsibility to be proactive in a destructive world.

But, I’ve never preached on the word ‘useful.” In some translations it’s offered as “profitable.”

Hmmmm. This must mean that God’s word is more valuable when we use it. If that’s the case then there are a few assumptions I think I can make:

  • Knowing that tithing is God’s financial plan doesn’t do you any good until you do it.
  • Knowing that sexual immorality is wrong doesn’t help you until you fight it.
  • Knowing that foul language is prohibited in Scripture is pointless if you still use, listen to it in music and allow it on your television.

I could go on and on, but I hate being convicted myself… so I’ll stop.

In a sentence, who cares what you know; what are you doing with what you know?

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Community Church (California), said at a conference last year that 70% of what Jesus taught was application in nature. Not theology or doctrine, just straight up application.

(Who knows how he got those figures, or if they are even that accurate, but he has credibility and it really makes my point, so, yes I will use it!)

There is a common phrase I use when teaching in our faith community: We know more than we do.

And, now I need to start adding this to it… who cares?

God has given us His word to be useful and profitable to our lives.

So, who cares how long you’ve gone to church?

Who cares how many Bible Studies you’ve attended?

Who cares how many times you have read through the Bible?

Until all that good teaching starts seeping out of you, into your life and the life of others… who cares?

logo3We’re getting ready to start a teaching in our faith community called “There’s An App For That.”

Hopefully lives will be changed as we look at tough life situations, find their answers in God’s word and then point in the direction of direct application. Get it… there’s an APP for that.

My prayer is that this is not just the beginning of a series, but a new strain of DNA in my own life and the life of our church.

May I/we give up control and begin to apply the useful/profitable teachings of God.

You probably already know what you need to do, but are you going to do it? That’s the real question.

May we do more than hold the remote.

How about we use it; if not, who cares?

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