Tuesday, February 2, 2010


"We're getting by." How often have I heard that phrase when I ask some married couples how they are doing in their marriage. In an informal poll that I conducted some years ago, wives felt that about 10 to 15 percent of the marriages they know about were really good marriages. The husbands give a more optimistic percentage of about 25 to 30. That tells me that even if I don't ask married couples how they are doing, I can assume that most aren't doing very well. "Getting by" seems to be the norm. That is tragic. I sometimes follow up with a question to that kind of response like, "Are you content to be 'getting by'? Is that your goal? Because if it is, you will easily succeed."

I wonder how many Christians are just "getting by" in their relationship with God. How about you, my friend? Are you content to just "get by" with God? He isn't and you shouldn't be either. I have noticed that so many people who have more recently come to know Jesus personally are definitely not content to stay the same. They have left their old life and want to grow in their relationship with God. They take advantage of opportunities to grow through Bible studies and personal devotions. They really listen to sermons on Sunday morning and ask themselves how they can apply the truths they have just learned. They ask me for resources to help them along in their Christian walk. They seek wise Christian counsel. In many cases they move right past so many "older" Christians who are content to "get by".

The problem with "getting by" is that we never remain the same even if we think we are. I think the Bible is clear that either we are growing in God's grace and knowledge or we are declining in our Christian life. We are either moving up or we are slipping back. Their is good reason why the Bible uses the husband-wife relationship analogy to talk about our relationship with Christ. It takes work to have a strong relationship with a spouse (or friend) as well as with Christ.

If you are not content to just "get by", then ask God to give you good motivation to move forward. God always answers that prayer, by the way. It's really not rocket science, is it? What worked when you first gave your life to Christ and were really "in love" with Him still works today. You know -- those foundational things like reading the Word, time in prayer, participating in Bible studies, giving yourself in service, seeking wise counsel and (yikes, yes) Fasting.

Up North Wisdom says: don't be afraid and don't let your hearts be troubled. God will help you. He always takes the first step. Ask Him for forgiveness for your coldness and distance in your Christian walk. I guarantee you, you can fall in love with Christ again and with the help of the Holy Spirit, not draw back to the old ways again. God intends for you to live an extraordinary Christian life because He is an extraordinary God and can do extraordinary things in your life if you will let Him. And, by the way, husbands and wives, it will work with you as well. Forgive each other, start afresh, and with God's help, move far away from "getting by" to the "extraordinary" marriage that not only God wants for you, but I know that you want as well. THE BEST IS YET TO COME! Believe it!


  1. Good word...not an easy word, but a good word! Love you!

  2. "We are either moving up or slipping back..." now that is a significant point to ponder. And I agree with Kristy...not an easy thing to hear becasue it's so easy to stay status quo and think everything will just "work out" without our input or effort. It's so important to remember what you've written here, that in our marriage relationship AND in our relationship with the Lord, things are moving and shifting one way or the other, at all times-and if we're not paying attention or giving our best effort, the relationship WILL slip back instead of moving ahead. As always Pastor, you deliver a good, timely word. Thank you!