My 8th grade son has always been the king of the deep question. From the time he was little, he has woken up in the morning not only talking (Before my coffee, I send him to his Dad.) but contemplating the struggles of humanity. The other day in between discussing his football workout schedule and projects due at school he blurts out this question:
“What would happen if Satan repented? If he were to renounce his need to be God and bow down to Jesus, would the Lord accept him back? I mean that would change everything wouldn’t it? How would sin affect us then?”
In our digital age, I thought it would be cool to “tweet” out the question in the form of, “When you’re 8th grader asks:” With the number of people I know who spend time with teens, I thought they would appreciate it.
Within 5 minutes, I got a reply from one of the many @Jesus accounts that said,
“I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.”
I wasn’t really asking the question. I certainly wasn’t asking someone with a twitter account who thinks he can speak for Jesus. First of all, the fact that a twitter handle of “Jesus” did much beyond quoting scripture really annoyed me deeply.Second of all, that is not even what Jesus would say. Not in the least.
It had ended up being an amazing discussion with my son about the implications of Satan’s repentance. He couldn’t be called, “Satan” anymore because he would no longer be the deceiver, pondering how it would work with angels since they technically weren’t created to have a relationship with Christ in the same way humans are, and what it would mean for sin in this world among other things. It was actually a really cool conversation, and got me thinking about how if the Bible tells us Jesus will destroy the deceiver once and for all, then this is not an expectation.
I am sure somebody thought they were being funny or witty or helping me out with a question I couldn’t answer. Yet, it got me thinking about all the ways I have done the same thing as both a parent and a ministry leader when asked deep questions.
How many times have I made an opinion sound like a truth when asked a question about God?
How many times have I failed to say, “Let’s take a look at His word and REALLY see what the Lord says about that”?
How many times have I unwittingly “played” God in any number of ways?
I confess I have had a “Savior” complex too many times by thinking:
- I should have all the answers to all the questions.
- I need to be the one whose “job” it is to fix a bad situation.
- I am the one to run to when you are hurting or lonely.
In other words I may not have a twitter account called, “Jesus” but I have pretended to play God when really I should just be serving Him. We need to be careful to show up in the lives of students. We should disciple, and stand with the least, the lost and the lonely. Yet, we need to remember we are not creating disciples who model our ways but Christ’s.
What does this mean practically?:
Let’s make sure our relationships aren’t so deep with students that in tough times they run to us INSTEAD of the Lord.
Let’s ensure we know the difference in quoting scripture and interpreting it for a student.
Let’s not be afraid to open up the Word of God and search for deep answers together.
Most of all in all things no matter what may we be reminded,
WE ARE NOT SAVIORS. We are not God. Let’s not shy away from the hardest of questions but, together can we be reminded just like twitter Jesus.
Anyone else ever do these things as well? I would love to hear your thoughts!