Thursday, September 18, 2014

Falling Asleep in Church and Other Sins

As a child, I was fairly fidgety. If I was sitting somewhere I was supposed to be quiet, it's as if my body would say, "Quiet, eh? Put the hyperactivity in overdrive, captain!" Needless to say, there were many moments of discipline that had to take place when I let that energy get out of control.

The odd thing about my tendency to be energetic is that I also fall asleep very easily. One might think that people like me have trouble falling asleep. Incorrect. (Where'd you get your degree? Psh...) I can fall asleep almost anywhere. This was also true as a child, and I would often fall asleep during sermons.

Even now, though I'm shaking my legs furiously as I type away, my eyelids want to shut down and take a nap.

For whatever reason, nowadays, I don't have too much trouble staying awake during sermons, unless I've gotten very little sleep over the weekend. If that's the case, I usually sit there trying to force my eyelids open by sheer mental willpower. How often does that work? No comment. After trying to keep my eyes open fails, I sometimes do this head-bob thing where I drop in and out of consciousness. Y'know, your head falls as you fall asleep and then the feeling of your head falling alerts your brain and, in the sad irony of it all, your mind doesn't wake you up enough to keep you awake, but only enough to lift your head back up. Only to let it fall again.

The whole process is quite shameful, to say the least. The preacher is pouring out his heart about a deep spiritual matter and there you are, head-banging to the beat of your cat-nap dreams. Then, the inevitable happens:

Your friend nudges you and wakes you up.

That's the most embarrassing moment of this whole escapade! Because if your friend has noticed that you were rocking away to your own hardcore concert right there in the pew, that means everyone else saw it too! So your cheeks turn red and you get flustered with your buddy for pointing out your pagan ways. Sometimes you try to play it off like you weren't sleeping, but just agreeing ecstatically with the pastor. But let's be honest, who are you fooling?

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6)
The Bible calls us to be accountable to one another. If someone calls us out on something, we shouldn't get upset with that person for pointing out what other people were already seeing. We should rejoice in the fact that we have someone to keep us to a high standard!

So if your buddy wakes you up during church, or calls you out on your pride, or shows you the ways in which you are not being gentle to others, don't shoot the messenger - He's literally doing what the Bible is telling him to by calling you out. Use the opportunity to get angry at your sin, and if you know you struggle with something, tell your Christian brother or sister what's going on before they have to approach you about it. In other words, hate your sin enough to seek accountability for it. So the next time you want to fall asleep in church, don't be upset when the guy you talked to about your tiredness before the service tries to pinch you.

It is a pinch of love.


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