Dive in

As a young boy, I would become ecstatic at the thought of going to the public pool with my friends. In hindsight I am not sure what was so appealing about overpriced admission, terrible food, and an unnaturally warmed pool, but one thing sticks out in my memory. The local pool had a diving board bigger than any other in our region. I can still remember the first time I was standing on the diving board. I was not really sure what it was going to be like, but I took note from all the bigger kids around me that you were supposed to jump as high as you could and not waste time because of those waiting in line behind you.

Thankfully I never had a problem jumping off the diving board, but I remember a lot of kids who did. They would walk to the end of the board and freeze. The older kids would eventually yell at them, and the lifeguard would blow his whistle until finally, in total embarrassment, they turned around, walked back across the board, and climbed down the ladder. It wasn’t the water that they were afraid of because they were already swimming; they were just frozen in space because of the “unknowns” of the diving board. The bottom-line was they did not know how to get off the board.

This same thing happens all too frequently in today’s Christian world. People spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and money surrounding themselves with the things of God by attending church services, reading books, listening to podcasts and worship music, and traveling to countless conferences. In spite of their best efforts many never encounter the person of Jesus Christ leaving them with nothing more than another stroll to the edge of the diving board without ever getting wet.

Truth is irrelevant if it does not lead to transformation in our lives. From the Scripture we clearly see that it is possible to believe in God, be close to the things of God, and even be used by God without knowing him (Matthew 7:21-23). What a scary thought. In reality it does not matter how much time you spend around Christian things; if you never encounter Jesus you may acquire more knowledge, but your life will remain unchanged.

The Christian culture of our day is jam-packed with spiritual snares that can entangle us, many of which are very good things. Perhaps you recall the account of Adam and Eve after they had sinned in the Garden of Eden. As the Lord came searching for them do you remember what he found them hiding behind? He found them hiding behind one of the very things he had created for them to enjoy- a tree!

So what good thing are you hiding behind?

Jared Ruddy
Husband, author, and blogger who finds it very uncomfortable to write about himself.


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