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Things We Claim Are Important  

One of the many reasons most of us dread a trip to the dentist is that the news we get there seems disproportionately negative. Whether it’s a simple dental cleaning (“You need to floss more”) or an X-ray (“that spot suggests a problem”) a dental exam is rarely a good news kind of experience.

Open Wide!

May I play the role of the dentist-you-dread for just a moment?  Open wide--we’re about to take an exam based on a discomforting hypothesis of mine.  Simply stated, it goes like this: Most of us Christians have a long list of stuff we claim is important, but apparently isn’t.

For most of us, that list includes things like prayer, Bible reading, sharing our faith.  Your list may vary slightly. But a survey from the Evangelical Alliance suggests that nearly one-fifth of Christians do not even have a fixed prayer habit.  And for those born after 1980, that figure climbs to nearly one-third.

Have not told another person about Christ

42% admit they have a hard time setting aside any regular time for Bible reading or prayer.  The study says—quote—”In practice, only half are managing to do this.”

A Lifeway survey shows 61% have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months. And 20 percent actually admit they “rarely or never pray for the spiritual status of others.”

Little Anticipation of Following Through

In other words, these things we claim are important to us are really not that important.  (I told you this examination wasn't going to be fun!).

Like friends who haven’t connected for a while and glibly say, “We should have lunch together,” we mean well, but have very little anticipation of actually following through on spiritual disciplines.  Yet merely claiming they are important somehow makes us feel better.

Just One Chance

Folks, we get one shot—just one (very short) turn—at this thing called life.  One chance to impact eternity.  One chance to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. 

Those things ought to be important enough for us to do.  If not, we should drop the facade and stop claiming they are. 


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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