Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Ten: Lame Quiet Times

Everybody is looking for ways to have lamer quiet times. That's a given. The problem is some people keep slipping into habits of: extended prayer times, changed lives, and (worst of all) communion with God. What can we do to prevent to this? Well, I am hopeful this post can help. So, here's ten ways to have ineffective and unproductive quiet times:

1. Skip It. This is the best and easiest way to keep from actually meeting with God. I mean, let's be honest, you're busy! I get sick of these Christians running around acting like I need to do one EVERY DAY! Between hitting the snooze button seven times, three solid hours of TV/Facebook/Gaming/Movies, and having fun with friends, there's not a whole lot of time for God.

2. Hate It. If you (for whatever reason) can't do #1, the rest of this list should help. First off, start by dreading/hating/whining about having to do one (even if its just in your own mind). I recommend making it feel like a burden around your neck. If you can get your emotions to this point, even if you accidentally have a quiet time, it will be worthless. You can even get to the point where you would rather: clean your room, do homework, spend time with your family, read the Pennysaver, climb a fence with barbed wire, or count your arm hair rather then spend time with God.

3. Don't Pray. Make sure you don't kick off your quiet time with prayer. This is a no-no. Prayer slows you down and makes you think you actually need God. Prayer may lead you to think that you need forgiveness, that you need grace, that you need His help, that you need faith, that you need deliverance, that you need patience, in short, that you need Him. Now, the problem with this line of thinking is that it may make you realize you need God and thus pray more. So nip this area of spiritual growth in the bud.

4. Rush Through It. If you've got to do one, keep it short. Your time is precious and you don't want to waste it on eternal thoughts--you've got a mist-like life to live! The briefer your time with God is, the less chance you have to be a deep Christian. Your mind can tend to wander towards eternal things, towards the gospel, and towards Jesus if you stay in the quiet time too long. Some suggested passages for a quick quiet time: John 11:35 and Job 3:2.

5. Don't Actually Commune With God. You want to treat your quiet time like an assignment from school. You want to get the checklist mentality going. One good method of applying this is to never confess sin. Hold on to your sin! Here's why: you start confessing sin, you realize that you are incomplete, falling short of God's glory, and totally depraved. Then, God's Word naturally points to the remedy: Jesus. When you look at Jesus, you'll see complete forgiveness, atonement, fellowship with God, and righteousness. Your affections may be stirred to love God, to praise Him, and to obey Him. Don't let this happen, remember you want lame quiet times!

6. No Meditation/Reflection. The Bible repeatedly commands us to meditate on God's Word. God wants people to not just read His Word, but to think about it, to consider how it applies to our lives, to consider how great God is, to be captivated with Jesus' love, and to mull it over in our minds all day. So, if we avoid reflection, we can trick ourselves into believing that God's Word is old, outdated, and isn't relevant for our lives.

7. Read Too Much. This can be taken the wrong way, but here's what I mean. Let's say you're in the habit of never spending time with God. All of a sudden--maybe after a stirring sermon or a convicting word from a friend--you want to start spending time with God. A good way to rid yourself of this attitude is to launch into an impossible reading plan. Commit to reading something like the Old Testament in one week. After you fall behind after one day, become easily discouraged and tell yourself you tried.

8. Avoid Christians Who Are "On-Fire". People like this can be annoying. They are always joyful, seeing victory over sin, encouraging others, and growing in the Lord. The worst part, they actually seem to enjoy spending time with God. A lot of time it spills over into wanting to see others share the joy that they have. They want others to have this joy of the Lord. They want to see others cast off sinful habits, grow in God's grace, and cherish Jesus. This leads them to ask penetrating spiritual questions like: Do you spend time with God? and How can I help you more closely walk with God? The sad thing is that they really love you--they really do care about you--and you don't want to break their hearts by telling them you are spiritually lame, so just avoid these kind of people. Warning: Avoid RBC Youth leaders, they are the worst!

9. Compartmentalize It. What do you do, you ask, if you make it all the way through a quiet time? The answer: don't let it spill over into your "real" life. Leave it in that 10 minute (or less) block. Just being a hearer of God's Word keeps you lame, its the doing of it that's important (don't bother looking up James 1.22). Try as hard as you can not to put anything you read into practice. Don't talk about it. Act like you never did a quiet time in the first place.

10. Don't Repeat It. It can be dangerous to get into an actual habit of quiet times. Spiritual growth, affection for Jesus, and real transformation are not far behind. It is probably better to use the time you could use for quiet times and fill it with excuse making. Come up with good ones like: it doesn't make any difference; it's lame; i don't have time; I did a quiet time yesterday, that's probably good enough; I went to church on Sunday, what more do I need?; and my favorite, I don't know what to read (of course we know full well what to read, we are just being lame!)

Anyways, I hope this helps you to become ineffective and lame spiritually. You keep up this lifestyle for an extended period of time and you can even convince yourself that you're a Christian. Sure, those on-fire Christians may call you out--because, if you really were a Christian, everyone would see the fruit from your life--but hey, they just love you with the love Jesus has filled them with. Have fun wasting your life!

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome. Thanks! -Kathryn