What is one of the primary ways our loving Savior meets us as we struggle not to lose our gospel minds? He meets us with the gift of his church. He knows that we need help. He knows we are not spiritually hardwired to make it on our own. So he has ordained his church to regularly gather, that we would remember once again, grieve once again, celebrate once again, and go out and live in light of the beautiful values of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Subtle Loss
I don’t know about you, but in the rush and press of life I can lose my mind. No, I’m not talking about going insane and needing to be institutionalized. I’m talking about a much more subtle form of insanity that often inflicts me and a vast number of my Christian brothers and sisters. There are moments in my life when I lose my gospel mind. There are moments when I live as if God does not exist, the Bible had never been written, and Jesus had never lived, died, and rose again. I’m not referencing an intentional walking away from the faith but rather a deformative gospel forgetfulness. Why do I call it deformative? Because in these moments my life is no longer formed by a vibrant rest in a surrender to my Lord but rather it is deformed by other things in and around me. There are times when I lose sight of what is truly important and valuable in life and, when I do, it alters what I desire, how I think, what I say, and the things I do. I am sure I am not alone.
Perhaps during an argument with your husband, wife, or friend, securing affirmation as being right (for once) becomes the most important thing to you. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you find yourself doing whatever is necessary to get that job promotion. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you’re willing to destroy your relationship with your neighbor over a boundary dispute. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you rip vengefully into your teenager because you’re tired of being disrespected. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you cling to an unending obsession with your weight and appearance. You have lost your gospel mind. Perhaps a lifestyle dream is leading you into crushing debt. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you harbor a pattern of internet sexual sin. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you feel an overwhelming anxiety about what people think about you and how they respond to you. You have lost your gospel mind. Or you might demand to be in charge and in control of your relationships. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe you are passive and complacent when it comes to your faith. You have lost your gospel mind. Maybe patterns of envy and bitterness have robbed you of your joy. You have lost your gospel mind.
Because the radical, life-shaping, and hope-giving values of the gospel are nowhere reinforced in the surrounding culture, we all live in constant need of fundamental gospel-values clarification. We all need to be reminded again and again of what is truly valuable and, therefore, what should be truly formative in life. I’m sure you are aware that it has never been more difficult to keep the worldly, materialistic, and degospelized values of the culture around us at bay. It is harder than ever to quiet the cacophony of voices and think with gospel clarity about what is truly important.