You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Rereading a book that contains so much wit and wisdom like GK Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” is a return to the feet of a great teacher. In it, he talks about the contradictory remarks non- believers use to try to discredit Christianity. One example noted is that it produces weak people fixated on a fantasy land and that it is also a fierce religion that is responsible for all the world’s major wars. For more, see the chapter titled, “The Paradoxes Of Christianity.”

Basically, those opposed to Christianity (they’re generally in favor of their view of J) are trying to have it both ways, in order that we see that Christianity is wrong and/or false in all ways at all times. Of course that’s not true in any way at any time. J’s life and death gives us purpose in all things and at all times and behind that purpose is a will and intent.

As I’m prone to digress, or rather, deviate into another thought, I’m thinking now about having it both ways in my life. I want to be blessed, but I don’t want to change anything in my own life. Not that God’s blessings are directly linked to our good deeds because obviously they’re not. But I want them to be. If I “overcome evil with good,” as Paul the Apostle writes in his epistle to the Romans, then surely I deserve a reward, or maybe a spiritual pat-on-the-back, so to speak, whatever that looks/feels like. I do tend to get caught up in the works producing rewards mindset, especially when I feel like lifeis kicking the crap out me.

Of course, it’s not about my having it both ways, deserving or receiving rewards, overcoming evil, or even receiving an unexpected blessing. It’s about the hardest thing of all, for me anyway, it’s about waking up in the morning and thanking J for the day and feeling grateful for it even or especially because I don’t feel grateful for it. I imagine J says to me on those days what Robin said to Batman in my favorite Batman reboot, “Batman Forever,” “You have a real gratitude problem.” And if I’m honest, I have to respond, “you’re right, sir.”

   I’m going to allow myself one last digression or deviation in an attempt to sort this out. How can I have it both ways in my life? I can choose to continue my fight to overcome the evil that surrounds me, and I can thumb my nose at life/evil/Satan when I’m getting beat up and respond “sorry, dude, I’m going to keep saying I’m grateful until I feel it.” Living to fight another day isn’t about survival but winning a battle I thought I had lost. I’m here aren’t I? I’ve survived to write about the experience, and I’m grateful for that.

Author: gregorsouthardblog

Blogger, author of "Emerging From The Shadows," a memoir, Christian, part- time goofball.

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