Reflections on chapter 2, What’s Your Life Centered On?
C. J. begins thus chapter talking about a girl names Alice and her new parrot.
Alice has a problem. Her parrot won’t talk. So every day for a week she goes to the pet store asking what to do. Every day she leaves with something different for her parrot to play with. On Sunday morning, she is standing at the door when the pet store opens, cage in hand, dead parrot in cage, sobbing. When asked if the parrot ever talked, she replied that he said just before death, “Don’t they sell any food at that pet store?”
C. J. goes on to talk about how it is important for us not to get so wrapped up in other, nonetheless important, things in the Christian life that we forget the Gospel, the matter of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3). He says, “… just as no amount of parrot-cage amenities can make up for a lack of parrot food, nothing can replace the gospel in a Christian’s life. Without it, our souls will become like Alice’s pet–starving in a crowded cage.”
C. J. then asks us what our lives are built around and what defines us. Many “good” things as well as “bad” things can unintentionally become the main focus in our lives. “Bad” things can be your career, a relationship you are/wish to be in, your hobby, politics, etc. “Good” things could be your ministry, your family, a cause you have taken up, etc.
And in reality, none of these are truly bad. They are important things that deserve your attenton. But the question isn’t whether they are important, it is whether they are of first importance to you. While good, none of these should be of first importance. Only the gospel should be; that “Christ for our sins.”
“I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry.” — D. A. Carson
That quote sets up the groundwork for tomorrows chapter about legalism. How legalism gets into our lives, and why it is usually so hard ti get rid of. See you then!