Anonymous asked: Hey Unka! So I really like one of my guy friends, but he’s not saved. He believes in God, but he doesn’t have a relationship with God, so I haven’t tried to tell him I like him. I hope one day he’ll come to Christ, but it seems selfish to want him to build a relationship with God so we could might be together. I pray for him like I do for all my friends. I don’t want to keep stringing myself along emotionally so think I should focus on God, and the right guy will come?
Unka Glen answered: Yes.
(You know you’re on the right track when all you need is a confirmation on what you’re pretty sure is the right thing.) It isn’t not selfish at all to want cute guys to come to know Jesus, it’s just that the salvation is more important than the date-ability.
In truth, you’ll want to look for a guy who is close enough to where you are in your walk that you can both be an encouragement and a challenge to one another. And you’re right to be focused on moving on. Getting wound up in wanting something that you know wouldn’t be great if you had it, really doesn’t make sense. Life is hard enough without all that.
loringthegreat asked: Hi Unka Glen! I just started following your blog, and I really like it. I have kind of an issue with drugs and alcohol. I’m 20 right now, and after a binge for a week, I had to stop and dry out. Now I’m trying to stay clean, but I’m sort of worried about when I turn 21, and alcohol is easier to get. Wanted to get advice if I could. [edited for length]
Unka Glen answered: In truth, most people start drugs and alcohol because they’re bored.
So, as a counter example, when I was in high school, the McDonalds across from the Johnson Space Center had a huge statue of Ronald McDonald in their little outdoor play area. So my buddies and I who were graduating, thought it would be a very nice idea to remove it, despite it being located across from a very secure government location, and place it in our youth pastor’s yard.
So I’m at my first week of college and I’m listening to a radio news report about a pastor who became a local hero for returning a missing Ronald McDonald statue, when my new roommate invites me to a party that promises to be “wild”.
After ten minutes at the party, I shared the following with my new roommate: ”if you think sipping skunky beer out of little red plastic cups is in any way “wild”, you have led a truly sad life my friend. I just tried to talk to an actual woman over the noise in here, and the sound of some fool yelling “party” every few minutes, and neither of us could make out what the other one is saying. You need to know that this is boring, and that I can have more fun by accident than you people have on purpose.”
Now, boredom is usually why people start with drugs and alcohol, but they binge and stay addicted to them, because they’re looking to be numb. Imagine you had a big, giant, gaping head wound. Like we could see your brain pulsing and stuff.
Then imagine that I said, here, drink this, you won’t feel a thing. This would be a good and welcome help. If however you started walking around with your head wound and telling everything is fine because you don’t feel a thing, then that would be sad, weird, irresponsible, and kind of embarrassing. And it really wouldn’t be “wild” at all.
If you learn to have clean (and hopefully semi-legal) fun, and face your pain with God’s help, then drugs and alcohol will have no appeal.
hope-and-heartstrings asked: Hey Unka! At college, I found a small and intimate church, and it felt like home. After graduating, I started going with my friends to their large church. But after attending for several months, it still doesn’t feel like I’m home. The teaching is good, but I feel like a number, not a person. I really want to build community, and I feel like there’s not a place for me. I am frustrated after every service because I don’t feel known or truly cared about. Is it selfish of me to explore other churches in my area that are smaller and fit me better? Sometimes I hear that “church shopping” is wrong.
Unka Glen answered: I hear this same exact thing about large churches A LOT. I mean, a whole lot. In the end, it’s a very simple equation, once a church reaches a certain size, there are things they simply can’t deliver. The size itself, and indeed the way it has grown, prevents it from being able to provide the kind of intimacy you’ve become used to.
For that reason, it isn’t fair to expect large churches to deliver in certain areas. You don’t go to McDonalds and get mad because they won’t serve you a fine Porterhouse steak. You aren’t in any way wrong or selfish to expect to have a warm and personal sense of intimacy in your Christian community, it’s just unfair to expect it where you know that the size, or the setup, simply prevents it from happening.
And let’s dismiss another thing about church life: waiting and expecting it to change. Part of my job is working with pastors, and if there’s one great lesson I’ve learned about church life, it’s that the worst cuss word you can use in church is CHANGE.
Is church shopping wrong? Well, imagine God saying this to you:
“My child, I desperately desire that you stay in this church where you have no sense of community or body life, where your spiritual needs are not being met, because it would be very bad if you looked for a new and small and intimate church where they would know you, miss you when you were gone, hold you accountable, cheer your successes, and care for you as an individual. That would be very bad.”
If it sounds silly when I say it out loud, then let’s decide that it here’s nothing to it.