Thursday, February 21, 2008

A World of Sputterers

It is so easy to completely BS our fellow Christian brothers. Seriously! Churches are full of “sputterers”. They look just like you and me. They sing with raised hands and pray with scripture quoting expertise. But they are about to sputter out. It's called "image management" when a man's insides don't match his outsides. And that is why Henry David Thoreau said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. If you are not sure what I am talking about, then watch this video. It is a catchy tune by a group called “eels” and it may be one of the best representations of what I am saying. Watch it to the end and pay particular attention to the lyrics. It's dark, but oh so true.

We use lots of things as Novocain for the soul. There are two things we can do with the pain we accumulate from living in this world. We can stuff it and try to act like everything is OK. Most of us are masters at the art of image management. But the problem is that it will always eventually keep resurfacing. So what do we do? We keep injecting ourselves with “Novocain for the soul”. It may be sexual things like porn, masturbation, strip clubs, or promiscuity. They will definitely deaden the pain; at least for a brief time. We use overeating, overworking, and over-just-about-everything to stay distracted. And it works for a while. But then we are right back where we started. Drugs and alcohol are the preferred deadener of choice for much of Christianity with secret lives and thriving addictions. That is why programs like Celebrate Recovery are so popular in churches today. Or maybe we can just live vicariously through others by wasting our lives away in front of American Idol or Desperate Housewives. That way we don't have to face our character flaws.

The second thing we do is the only one that really works. Or as eels say:

“You better give me something to fill the hole; before I sputter out”.

Jesus is the only thing that can fill that “God shaped void" some have in their born again lives. Even saved sons can feel pain and anxiety when they wander away from the one who called them into His kingdom. And Jesus spent lots of time seeking for those who are sputtering out. He came for the "lost sheep". And even lost sheep are still sheep; but somehow they have lost their way.
“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.” Isaiah 42:3 (New Living Translation)

And how does Jesus do that? He uses people just like you and me. We are the ones who are called to find those who are sputtering out and show them the only real way to fill the hole.

"Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way" Isaiah 35:3 (New International Version)

Have you helped a brother in need lately? Are you one of the Christians who look great on the outside, but inside you are weak, hurting, lonely, and feeble? If we don’t help those who are sputtering, who will? I admire the honesty of the group eels. They are speaking for an entire generation who are losing it. “Life is hard. And so am I. You better give me something, so I don't die.” Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly.

Grab a sputterer this week. Take them to lunch. Listen to them without judging them. Love them like Jesus would. Those who have been forgiven much will love much. And love covers a multitude of sins.


  1. I was just thinking about taking a sputterer out to lunch... then I realized that I AM a sputterer... big time. Thanks for your insight. I'll take you up on that lunch offer.


  2. You are far from a sputterer my friend. I see a warrior and a son of the Almighty God when I look at you. If you find yourself "sputtering", do what it says in the book of Revelation: repent and do the first works over again.

    You are the cohawk!