Author’s Note: As an exercise, I re-wrote the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in “socially acceptable” language–a sort of modern version. I was surprised at how convicted I was (and which parts were the most damning of my actual life). This probably shouldn’t have surprised me, since Jesus rarely left the religious people like myself feeling comfortable.
… If someone is needy, there is surely someone else who will see to it. In the small chance that you find yourself in a position to give to the poor, make sure you only give to the deserving—those who are humble and contrite and good, who have done nothing in order to justify their fate. When you give, go to faraway countries and bring your camera; you might want to blog about it, after all.
When you pray, make sure it is about you, and that it sounds beautiful and fancy and full of theological depth. Hide your fears that you are talking to thin air by repeating the names of God, over and over again, like a mantra you can cling to. Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I just want to ask you to bless us all, but only with the blessings of my choice.
I will say it again: don’t forgive those who aren’t worthy, who never said sorry, who don’t deserve it.
If you feel like it, every once in awhile do something extremely spiritual (like giving up chocolate or social media, or starting a missional community). Express how hard it is to follow God, preferably on the internet.
Be wise, be good stewards of your money. Save for yourself, your kids, your grandkids—you and yours. Live in a safe neighborhood, have a garage to house your bargains, use your reliable vehicles to get you where you need to go, the job that pays comfortably so you can provide for yourself. Invest responsibly, save for retirement, start a college fund now. This is what good Christians do.
This is fantastic.