Inside the front cover of my bible are quotes and scriptures that have pierced my heart in some way over the years. A lyric that put words to my thoughts. A quote that better articulated my emotions than I ever could. A one-liner from a sermon that hit the nail on the head. These words that fill the cover of my bible have helped me along in my faith of better understanding who God is and who He says I am. I have clung to these truths in many dark seasons and professed them over and over again until I actually believed them.
But you know, the funny thing is some (if not most) of these tiny pieces are part of a much larger whole of which most of the time I haven’t even read entirely. I realized this the other day when I went to write down a line from one of the chapters I was reading from CS Lewis. Most of the quotes and lyrics and scriptures written inside my bible, that hold a heavy weight in my heart, are from books and songs and sermons and chapters in the bible that I have not ever read completely or even at all.
As I was processing this, all the while still writing down the quote from the chapter that I haven’t finished even to this day (insert face palm here), my eyes scrolled across yet another CS Lewis quote I had written years ago… “We are far too easily please.” (For the sake of transparency here, I do not even know where THIS quote came from. You see my frustration.)
We are far too easily pleased.
I am far too easily pleased.
I am far too easily please with taking the one part of the puzzle that makes sense to me or resonates with me at the time and leaving the rest untouched. Now, to you this may not seem like too big of a deal, and maybe in the grand scheme of things not finishing a book is the lowest on the totem pole of sin, however, the Holy Spirit pressed me on to think if I am so easily please with one line in song, what else am I easily pleased with? What else are we, as the body of Christ, easily pleased with?
Affirmation from creations, not the Creator.
Instagram bible, not the Holy bible.
Being fed, not feeding others.
Pornography, not purity.
Fakeness, not friendships.
Casual sex, not commitment.
Scrolling on screens, not looking across the table.
Watching show after show, not nurturing our faith.
Retweeting, not listening.
Our specific church pew, not the poverty outside the church door.
Sound bites, not sound teaching.
And on and on it goes.
I am so guilty, SO guilty, of these things. There have been many times when I blatantly defy Paul’s call from Romans to not be conformed to the pattern of this world. This world and what it has to offer is appealing and so addicting to me that I am willing to sacrifice my time with Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, for another episode of The Office. THIS IS A PROBLEM. A huge problem. And I know this doesn’t just describe my life, but the lives of so many Christians. We have the life-changing, life-giving, life-saving truth of the Gospel in our hands, yet we are too busy clicking, liking, scrolling, and hashtagging to share it with our neighbor. We are comfortable with sitting in our church pews on Sunday morning but not sharing our table with the unbeliever for Sunday dinner.
We are far too easily pleased.
And believe it or not, this is Satan’s plan. To glaze our eyes with the lie that going to church and taking pictures of our bibles at coffee shops and retweeting other Christians’ commentary on scripture is what being a Christian is all about. To coat our hearts with the lie that someone else will take care of the children in foster care… someone else will send money to help the Syrian refugees… someone else will share the Gospel with that person. He wants us to be satisfied with the safe haven we have secluded ourselves into so that we will miss all the pain, suffering, fear, and sin that is running wild throughout our world.
You may feel a sense of urgency right now, and I pray that you do. Every single person that you encounter today is either as close to Hell as they will ever be, and on the flip side, as close to Heaven as they will ever be. This world is Heaven for some. Can you think about that for just a second? This world, with all its cancer and death and failure and disappointments and loneliness and anger and hatred, is your neighbor’s HEAVEN. This is as good as it gets for a lot of people in our lives, yet we are so easily pleased with assuming that someone else will tell them about Jesus that we do nothing.
So, where does this leave us?
This leaves us wrecked with heartache for our world. This leaves us longing for our Father to return and make all things new. This leaves us with a heavy responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus until He comes again. And with this responsibility to share the good news, love our neighbors, open our doors, and pull more seats up to our tables comes another responsibility to surrender. These acts of kindness and evangelical conversations are nothing without Jesus being at the root. A lifestyle that looks like Jesus comes out of a heart that knows Him. The transformation He makes in us is what counts.
Originally I was going somewhere else with this article, but in my spastic style of writing, I have landed here. My desire for this New Year is that rather than spending time on making resolutions and focusing on how we can change ourselves, that maybe we would make time to set down our phones, to spend a few more moments with Jesus, and invite others to the table. Instead of focusing on what we can change about ourselves, maybe we could focus on what we can change about the world we live in. God has given us this radical, unconditional grace that far exceeds any gift possible. Let us run the race with confidence from Christ, living in freedom of the grace He bought for us on the cross, and not be so easily please with the pleasures of this world.
There has to be more than what this world can offer… and in fact there is. His name is Jesus. And His love for you is radical and untamable, and so overwhelming that the only thing you can do is love Him back. And loving Him looks a whole lot like not being too easily pleased with this world, but rather only being pleased with Jesus, the redeeming love He died to give, and the people He died for to save.
Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild
Your love is wild for me
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed, your love is proud to be seen with me
You don’t give your heart in pieces
You don’t hide yourself to tease us
Uncontrolled, uncontained, your love is a fire
Burning bright for me
It’s not a spark, it’s not just a flame
Your love is a light for all the world to see
*Originally published here