captain’s blog – supplemental

In Star Trek (the TV series + spin offs) we are often treated to hearing the Captain’s Log – usually to set the scene for the episode that follows. They also use a clever device where they can jump ahead in the plot and help us catch up with the Captain’s Log – Supplemental. Consider this in a similar way – I am continuing from yesterday, so you may find it helpful to read that first if you haven’t…

The ‘That will do’ attitude to which I was referring was principally related to my following of Jesus (which of course then has implications for my whole life). It is not about driving ourselves forward in a relentless pursuit of perfection or considering ourselves worthless. It is about doing the bare minimum in my relationship with Jesus and being satisfied with that. It’s the spiritual equivalent of papering over the cracks and being happy with that.

‘That will do’ Christians have a Sunday veneer that they wear around other Christians but their faith does not affect their business practice, how they are with their family and friends, the type of jokes they tell, the gossip they indulge in, the things they watch, the places they go, the way they consider others…

‘That will do’ Christians say, like the rich young man in Luke 18, I’ve kept the Ten Commandments, I’ve never killed anyone, or committed adultery: I’m basically a good person. Jesus says, “anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” and “”anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart.”

‘That will do’ Christians are content with the level of sin in their life. Jesus says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away… if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.”

‘That will do’ Christians are replacing ‘whatever you do’ with ‘in most things’ when Paul writes, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:17)

‘That will do’ Christians don’t mind a fairly small piece of wood in their eye when pointing out the speck of dust in someone else’s.

‘That will do’ followers of Jesus go home sad when he says for us to sell our belongings and give to the poor, then come and follow him. They want to follow a tame, gentle Jesus meek and mild who will not disturb the comfortable or ask them to change.

There is a danger that some followers of Jesus may read this and feel terrible. They may feel that they are a failure and that they will never be good enough. They may be acutely aware of their failings and don’t need reminding of them. I don’t see that as ‘That will do’ Christianity. ‘That will do’ Christians aren’t bothered. They do not want to know more of God in their life. They do not want to be more radical. They don’t want to do some drastic surgery.

Lord please don’t let me be a ‘That will do’ follower of you.

The good news here is that the changes that can take place in our lives are the work of God’s Spirit, not our own efforts at self-improvement. The antidote to the poison of ‘That will do’ Christianity is to ask God to change you. That’s where it starts. We want to know more of Jesus. We want to sin less. We want to be a blessing to others. And we ask Jesus for his help because these are works of his Spirit in our lives. Yes we may have to make lifestyle changes, but they will be as a result of the changes brought about within us if they are to be lasting and more than papering over the cracks.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

(Galatians 5:22-25)

Yes please.

Star Trek joke:

Captain Kirk was a mutant. He had a left ear, a right ear and “Space, the final front ear”

One thought on “captain’s blog – supplemental

  1. >Thanks Nick, a very helpful clarification, and one I agree with… not the same as 'good enough'which what David seems to be referring to.PS Your jokes get no better!

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