Did you know that the word “obviously” never appears in the Bible, yet it seems as though this word is an essential for a preacher: “Obviously, the Bible says that you should _______.”
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone starts a sentence with obviously, when in reality it is not that obvious. It establishes them as the one with insider information and us as the ignorant bystander, who if dared to ask a simple question would reveal their ignorance. “Obviously” stifles conversation; it stifles exploration; it stifles discipleship.
Following Christ is not about the obvious, it is about discovering what is not obvious. That is why the church uses terms like “discipleship”—because it implies that faith is an exploration, a journey, a disciplined movement of seeking to know more about God, about ourselves and about the world we live in.
The Christian faith is not obvious, rather it is complex. A life of following Christ is far richer and far more satisfying then simply saying, “Obviously, if the Bible says it, then I believe it and that settles it.”
As Paul tells the church in Corinth, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part, then I will know fully.” Paul is describing how even for him, the great writer of the New Testament, we will only partly understand who God is and who we are.
Finish this sentence: “Obviously, God wants me to _________.”
Why is that obvious? Is that really what God may want for you? If so, then what things are preventing you? If not, then what is drawing you to this?
Rev. Wes Barry