My older sister has an old high school friend who has always been "on fire" for Jesus, even way back in the day when we all went to the public high school together. Seriously. The amount of enthusiasm he carried around was unmatched by anyone else I knew at church. He was even more in love with Jesus than my youth pastor. I was never terribly close to "Dave" though I did go to his wedding with my sister some 10 years ago. But he is the kind of person who, if I saw him today, would envelop me in a gigantic bear hug and ask how my spiritual life is going. Perhaps you know similar people.
Somehow, years ago, I got on his mailing list and every month or two I get a kind of "Jesus Pep Talk" email in my inbox. It usually includes an opening anecdote that Dave then ties to some scripture to remind us that Jesus is our All in All. He then invites us to pray with him. This is a typical prayer:
Gracious Father, we are humbled by Your Most Amazing Grace in JESUS that invites & makes it possible for us to be a part of Your Winning Team! Lord, we acknowledge that we often lack the “Winning Attitude” of Your Son. You gave us Your Mighty Holy Spirit to empower us with JESUS’ Winning Attitude that surrenders to You & seeks to glorify You in all things. O Lord, forgive us for not submitting to the Spirit & not trusting in You at times. In 2007, bless each of us with an overriding knowledge & awareness of Your Victory at Calvary. O Lord, You are the Eternal Victor & we are so grateful that You so graciously shared Your Victory with us through JESUS. We submit to Your Purpose & Plan for 2007. Let us not be distracted by the circumstances. Help us to be about abiding in You & being completely Yours! May we be instruments that You can use in any circumstances to glorify Your Son in the Highest!!! It’s in the Name of the One Who is FOREVER VICTORIOUS, JESUS CHRIST, we pray. AMEN.
My sister at some point changed her email address and made it a point not to tell Dave - and made me swear not to give it to him. Now every so often I will forward her Dave's emails and we will share a giggle over it, and she will express relief that she no longer receives them.
But here is the thing: I know this comes from a very heartfelt and sincere place, and I know Dave is just trying to encourage his brothers and sisters in Christ. So why do his missives make me so uncomfortable?