07 Feb Finding Your Center in the Gospel
Originally posted on January 23, 2004
We all need a “center”. A center is the bedrock truth that determines how we live. It is also the truth we keep coming back to for perspective, encouragement and energy to keep moving forward in life. The center is like a home. We live in it, are sent out from it, and return to it. But this home is not made of bricks; it is made of truth.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “It is the mark of a grown up man that he finds his center of gravity wherever he happens to be at the moment.” Whatever the circumstances, a person can mentally and spiritually return to center and stay grounded in truth.
The Bible gives us the great center; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us passages about God, sin, Christ’s death for us, and how to live in this world for the glory of God. When we face decisions we can come back to these passages for perspective. When we are tempted morally, we find motivation for purity in this gospel center. When our minds thinks thoughts of pride or self reproach, we are either humbled or lifted up by the message of Christ love and grace for us.
How do you find your center in the gospel? It takes some mental work. First, find a passage in the Bible that specifically mentions God’s love for you and His call for you to repent and believe. I have chosen Romans 8 as my center the past several months.
Second, read this passage everyday for a month. Phrases will begin to lodge in your brain. I have read Romans 8 so many times I can see in my minds eye where certain words and paragraphs are located on the page in my Bible.
Third, throughout the day, as thoughts, conversations, experiences occur, “go home” to that passage. Bring the passage to bear on the emotions you are feeling. In times of anxiety and discouragement, I have pressed into the moment the simple thought from Romans 8 that, “nothing separates me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” I’m finding my center over and over again.
Finding our center in the gospel of Christ is what it means to be a spiritually healthy person.
Scott Patty, Pastor
Dietrich Bonhoeffer quoted in Spiritual Leadership, Oswald Sanders, Moody Press, 1994.