Confession of a minister!
To my shame I got caught speeding last month – I am not sure whether the shame is that I was speeding or that I got caught? To avoid any endorsements I decided to take a National Speed Awareness Scheme. I was pleasantly surprised by the course and how it aims to change behaviour by not condemning and making me feel guilty but by changing my attitudes towards speeding. It worked! It did change my attitude to speeding as well as give me practical tips to keep me from speeding (e.g. keep in third gear in a 30mph limit).
As a Christian minister my aim is to change people’s attitudes towards God and the directions/rules God gives of how to live as well as to demonstrate how living God’s way brings freedom and fun. Jesus said ‘I have come that they may have life and life to the full’ but for many the Christian message seems ‘Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant’. I think this is because we see God like I saw the ‘Law’ – that God is out to get me, to catch me, an inconvenience to stop me enjoying myself. But the truth is far from that. Jesus came to show us that God is not angry with us but that God loves us. The directions he gives to live are not to enslave us but to free us – for God knows the pain and heartache that we will cause others and ourselves if we pursue agendas that are contrary to the way God made us to be.
But more than that, just like I avoided any endorsement on my license by going on a course, so by accepting the message Jesus proclaimed, God sees us as being perfectly clean and blameless. But even more than that the Christian message says that God doesn’t leave us to try and change ourselves but that Jesus comes and as it were sits beside us showing us how to change.
I hope my new found driving techniques will last and my bad habits of the last 25 years won’t return but as a Christian I know that Jesus walks with me everyday and reminds me how to live more fully.
This Autumn again sees the National Launch of the Alpha course – do consider taking it at a local church to see how your attitude to God may be warped. The first session is entitled ‘Christianity: Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant’ . We will be running it again at the Bean & Brew cafe Wallingford. Do contact me email@example.com for more information.