Friday, March 23, 2007


Well I had to do this. :) I can't help but see an analogy between the story I shared about my coffee experience ("But the label is GREEN") and something else that happens in real life.

As I previously wrote, for about 3 or 4 weeks I was using coffee from a green coffee can that I thought was decaffeinated. The can was green, and decaf coffee comes in green cans, right? After a prolonged, unexplained buzz that I just couldn't seem to shake, and a very irritating and somewhat debilitating heaviness and pressure in my head, not to mention chest pain and a fluttering heart, I finally looked at the label and found out that the green coffee can from which I'd made almost a pot of coffee per day (because I'm a sick, twisted coffee freak) actually contained caffeinated coffee.

And so it can be with religion and religious duty vs. freedom and walking in the Spirit. Religion can often look very much like the thing we really want - spiritual living. We can drink from the religion can, working harder and harder out of our own self effort, trying to please God, trying to carve out some sort of spiritual legacy. It can indeed appear very good! And so we get used to the religious lifestyle, putting on the plastic smile and making others (and even ourselves) think that we've got it all together and that we've got this Christian thing down. But before long, we get to a place where we can't deny the pressure in our heads, our fluttering hearts, our chest pain - which may come to each of us in various forms - but no matter how it comes to us we realize that something is wrong about the way we're going about our Christian 'business.' We realize we've been drinking from the wrong can.

My hope and prayer for myself, and for you, is that God will continuously keep our eyes open to understand the subtle differences between fleshly religious duty and the life-giving, life-sustaining life of Christ that is within us. And that we'll always enjoy great coffee.

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