As promised, I will now give you the rundown of the retreat I’ve been Tweeting about for a while (for those of you that follow me there). This is the first part because I have a lot to write. (Thinking about it now, I think I’m going to split it into 3 or 4 segments…)
I went to the Women of Faith retreat at my church. I wasn’t especially looking forward to it because I was in the music team and had to get up at 7 to go to church and practice. I was really tired…
The speaker’s name was Nancy Ou. Her brief biography says,
Nancy Ou is a Christian speaker, translator, and writer. She speaks at various churches and college fellowships. Her articles and translated works can be seen in many Chinese Christian publications. Her husband, Rev. Samson Ou, is currently serving at Chinese for Christ Church of San Jose. Their family consists of 3 grown up children and a big dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, listen to classical music and tell cheesy jokes.
The theme of the retreat was Peter 4:19.
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Doing good? Yup.
Mrs. Ou had two messages: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Her first message was about “Doing Good: Preparation.” She mentioned that Christians don’t do good because of high moral standards. We do good because the Bible tells us to. Because GOD tells us to. Christians don’t simply sit there and bask in God’s love. We’re supposed to go out and do good.
Why do good? There are several reasons. By doing good, unbelievers can be silenced because of our integrity. (Integrity can really do a lot, believe me. If nothing else it can win the respect of others.) Doing good glorifies God. Who will harm us if we’re eager to do good?
She added that sometimes we say that we’re too busy to do good. In our eyes, not always doing something is bad. As a result, we fill our days with busyness and activities that will just make us tired and burnt out. Just sitting still is good, sometimes. Not only that, we’re supposed to have our quiet times with God (be still and know that he is God) and if we miss that… well. Bad stuff happens. We get tired, crabby, cranky, and tend to bite people’s heads off. I know I do.
That still time with God is also a time to recharge ourselves. It’s better than any rejuvenation treatment that money could buy, because it actually works. It provides us with more than adequate resources to enable us to do good to those around us.
She described salvation as “creation, re-creation, new creation.” That just struck me as being a pretty accurate picture of salvation. In fact, I added it to my “religious views” on facebook.
Another thing Mrs. Ou said was that good works are indispensable as a consequence of salvation. They are NOT the means to salvation, or the way to God.
I feel that a lot of Christians emphasize that good works does not lead to salvation, blah blah blah. So when people become Christians, they forget about the aspect of doing good. They forget that doing good is NOT the same as being a good person. “I’m saved. What do you mean that I have to do good?” Her point that we’re not supposed to just sit there and bask in God’s love was correct. Maybe a lot of us would rather just sit there and not get our hands dirty.
Or we say that we want to do good things, but we’re just so TIRED… and we have not the least idea how we can help. Next post coming up!