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Spiderman Syndrome

December 10, 2011

Sometimes as Christians we feel like we are limitless.  It’s as if nothing can stand in our way.  We feel like Spiderman swinging from building to building and challenge to challenge.  There are Bible verses to back that up, right?  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “if God is for us who can be against us”, are just two. Then we have the old stand by things like being a child of the King and blessed above measure, pressed down, shaken and not stirred.

While that’s true in the right context it’s not always the case.

Sometimes while we’re swinging from building to building we suddenly turn into Spiderman with slippery fingers.  We lose our grip, or our focus, and we come crashing down.  My typical response is, “Oh great here I go again.”

I’m not the most righteous or holy person.  I want to be, but alas, I am not.  I‘m really glad for verses like, “While we were still sinners; Christ died for us”, and stories of even the apostles doing things less than honorable.  Take Peter being rebuked for basically being a racist, or Peter chopping off some guys ear.  It seems that every other chapter of the New Testament has Peter being rebuked for some wrong word or action.

If Christ died for us while we were still sinners and we’ve done nothing to deserve our salvation why are we so hung up on being super hero’s?  It’s this idea that we should be super hero’s when it comes to our actions that causes so much self-doubt.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to perform a certain way and not do certain things that we lose focus of what we’re really trying to do.  What we’re trying to do is know God, and have others know Him as well.

Have you ever won a friend by just doing the things that they like to do?  Probable not.  You’d probably be considered a hanger-on or tag-a-long or something.  You made friends by talking to them and getting to know them.  Then when they did something they enjoyed you’d be there with them not because of whatever they were doing but because you enjoyed their company.

I’ll agree that this analogy is a little shallow, but it is kind of similar to our relationship with God and the things that we do for Him.  We spend so much time trying to do the right things that we neglect the one thing that we must do.  That one thing is to know God.  Everything is born out of that.  Remember the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet?  The thing that always stood out to me was at the end of the story when Jesus tells them to do the same thing for others.  Verse 8 says this though, “Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’”

So often we want to do the work of cleaning ourselves, which is to say cleaning our heart and soul, by our self.  That’s not what Jesus intended and we cannot do it.  This is the stumbling stone spoken of in Romans 9.  We want to do great things FOR God and God wants to do great things THROUGH us.  There’s a big difference in the two.  One is done through righteous works, which are as filthy rags.  The other is done because we’ve spent so much time talking and listening to our Father that we know intuitively what He wants us to do; just like a good friend.

It’s when those two motivations shift that we suddenly realize how light His yoke, and easy His burden really is.  It’s then that we can swing from building to building and not worry about slippery fingers.  It’s then that we truly do become limitless because our Father is limitless.

Am I the only one who’s struggled with this?  Let me know what you think.


From → Preachy Thoughts

  1. Thanks! I definitely needed to be reminded of this.

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