This is a guest post from my friend Brittany Gardner. Recently, we talked about how to be more discerning. This is an excellent example of what discernment looks like in practice. Brittany is an unmarried, twenty-something who enjoys wine and Will Ferrell and struggles with judging others and maintaining purity with her handsome, talented, amazing boyfriend. You can follow her on her blog.
I’m really struggling with this whole Fifty Shades of Grey deal.
Photo courtesy: screencrush.com
If you haven’t heard about this book, you should probably Bing it now so this post will make sense. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Welcome back! I missed you.
The whole truth
I cannot express how disappointed I am at the amount of Christian women who are not only reading this book, but passing it along to friends and discussing it in small groups. Married women claim it puts a spark in their marriage. Single women think it’s as innocent as watching Glee. (Don’t even get me started with Glee…)
The more I rest in God’s Word, the more I have been forced to wrestle with how uncomfortable it truly is. Sure, there are the confirming promises our Father delivers, and encouraging verses that can be tweeted.
But for those of us who are Christ-followers, why do we continuously justify skipping the parts of the Bible we don’t like?
Truth is not truth unless it is whole.
Whole can be painful, but whole is ultimately healthy. You cannot accept some parts of the Bible while dismissing others and call yourself a Christian.
That is precisely the problem with religion now, though – too much picking and choosing what makes us feel warm and fuzzy while neglecting what God has directly commanded of us.
As it relates to Fifty Shades of Grey and the Christians who are reading it without a second thought (actually their second thought is that those of us who aren’t reading it are judgmental, stuck-up prudes), I’m finding a lot of Christians compartmentalizing God.
When we do this, we live as if God has office hours from 8am-1pm on Sundays, rather than living as if He is with us each and every day, in even the smallest details of our lives.
Christ-followers are called to be in the world and not of it. That requires looking at the issues that are clearly of the world with a set of lenses that are not judgmental, but instead with lenses which allow our hearts to break when our eyes are opened to things we know are not from God.
I can’t bring myself to do it
You may call me close-minded for writing about a book I haven’t even read, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
Just think…would you feel comfortable reading this book to your kids? To your mom? During your prayer time with God?
The main character is apparently a controlling narcissist who epitomizes they type of jerk I would never want my daughter, friends, or myself to seek in a man. Sounds like my ex. And I thank God, quite literally, that he is my ex.
God is real and He is raw
He understands all the nitty-gritty of our lives, and we do not have to go before Him as perfect angels who have our acts together. He knows we don’t. He knows we are broken, bruised and tainted. Even if the rest of the world thinks we have it together, God knows the truth. And He still loves us. That’s grace.
We all know it’s wrong to take advantage of people, children, or widows. These things upset us, and we even rally together around missions and social justice projects to make things better.
Evil is subtle
Somehow, though, we completely miss the evil that is sneaking into our souls from more subtle influences. Putting poison like this into our minds, things you know aren’t pleasing to God, will most assuredly start to take your life.
Things rarely start full-force. Affairs start with a glass of wine after work. Innocence is given away to the boyfriend who was deemed marriage material from the first conversation.
Everything people regret in life has a starting point. If you reflect on things you wish had gone differently in your own life, I bet you can pinpoint some of yours.
Don’t let this book be a starting point to the deterioration of a relationship in your life. Whether that relationship is with your boyfriend, husband, or most importantly, God.
I feel so adamantly about this I decided to share my thoughts with everyone online. But it got me thinking: if I feel so strongly about something others seem so apathetic about, what am I being apathetic towards that other Christians feel strongly about?
What are my own blind spots? Where am I ignoring God and settling to be of the world and not in it?
It’s a harrowing thought, but one I consider worth the discomfort.
What about you? What are your blind spots?
Share in the comments.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy –
think about such things.”