Confessions of a Bonehead Christian

This is not going to be the most profound post you read this week.  Trust me.  Some of my failures as a Christian have come out of fear, anger, and failure to trust God.  Other times it’s just me being a bonehead.  Let’s look at the lighter side of Christianity, shall we?  Here is a lighthearted (and partial, I’m sure) list of the dumb things I do that probably have God face palming on a regular basis.  Tell me yours in the comments (don’t leave me hanging here people).  We’ll have a good laugh about it and learn a little along the way.

  • Completely spacing out during the Lord’s Prayer.  We know the prayer.  We probably memorized it when we were six or so.  We can rattle that thing off no problem.  But don’t ask me to start it in the middle.  I don’t actually KNOW it.  I just have it memorized, for goodness sake.  Kind of like the Christian version of having to sing the whole Alphabet Song in order to remember that R comes after Q.  Admit it.  You just sang a little bit of it to check me.  So tonight we were all gathered up on our bed like we do every night for some prayers and Bible.  We ended it like we always do, with the Lord’s Prayer.  My youngest daughter had fallen asleep before we even started prayers and I was thinking about how exactly I was going to hoist her up into her loft bed without dropping her on her head.  This is a good thing to think about, but I realized I was planning this all out while still rattling off The Lord’s Prayer mindlessly.  It makes me wonder just how often I do that.  Probably a lot.  Mission for tomorrow is to get through The Lord’s Prayer with some intentionality.  No more mindless drone prayers.
  • Falling asleep while praying.  I usually pray at the end of the day.  Nothing wrong with that, unless of course your head is parked on your uber soft comfy pillow.  It takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep once their head hits the pillow.  I think you cut this down by about six minutes if you’re praying at the same time.  This works for some people.  My mother prays right before she goes to sleep and she’s like a prayer ninja.  But for me, this is pretty much the equivalent of tossing God a few scrap minutes at the end of my busy day.  Not cool.  I  had a long talk the other day with a friend and I told him about my pillow-praying habit and the look on his face was classic.  Without saying a word, he let me know that I was being lame.  Mission for tomorrow: Pray when I wake up and give God the best minutes of my day, not just the ones left over until I sack out.
  • Super inconsistent giving.  Major confession for a guy who writes a blog about trusting God: I’m not sure if I tithe.  And anyone who isn’t sure probably isn’t tithing.  I get commissions at work, so we’ve written some pretty big checks for offering at church.  This is great, unless you back up those big checks with five weeks of nothing.  I justify it by reminding myself that I teach Sunday School.  Lame alert!  This is not how God designed us.  The idea behind tithing isn’t that God made a spreadsheet and figured out He needs 10% from each of us.  The idea is that it is a regular (regular!) reminder of the gifts we have.  And a 10% cut in exchange for salvation is a pretty sweet deal.  Mission for November:  Give weekly and if I’m not tithing, I’d better get my tail in gear and get it done.
  • Being in debt.  What does being in debt have to do with being a Christian?  The answer is in a funny phrase that Dave Ramsey likes to say.  “You know what people who are debt free do with their money?    Whatever they want.”  I dump a few thousand dollars a month down the toilet bowl of debt and I could be using that to help others or, heaven forbid, tithe.  The main charity I am promoting these days is the Citibank Foundation for Morons Who Spend More Than They Make.  Hey listen, I get it.  There are people out there with credit card bills because they had no choice.  I’m not one of them.  I was a bonehead, and God is the one left holding the bill.  Proverbs tells us that the borrower is slave to the lender.  Tell me about it.  Mission: Attack debt like crazy and get my life back.
  • Flipping out on Facebook.  Hello.  My name is Jim and I post political hate on Facebook.  “Hi Jim,” says the whole room.  Okay, I’m taking some credit for this one and patting myself on the back for steering clear of posting political rants on Facebook for a long time actually.  It was this blog, in fact, which replaced the time I previously had spent freaking out about one politician or another.  So on this one, I’m giving myself a little credit.  Number of lives changed ranting on Facebook: Zero.  Number of lives changed here?  Counting myself, it’s at least one.  And that’s cool.  Yay me.

That’s definitely a partial list.  The full list is available from my wife.  Sorry for being a bonehead, God.  I think I’m doing pretty well with some of the big stuff.  But the little stuff matters too.  And confession is a good thing.  So c’mon.  Give it up.  We all have an inner bonehead.  What are you doing that has God doing a face-palm in your general direction?

We were built to be heroes.

Sometimes we’re boneheads instead.


13 thoughts on “Confessions of a Bonehead Christian

  1. mammapropria says:

    Just about the time I think that maybe I’m making some progress in my old age, you write something that makes me look at myself with a more self honest pair of eyes and I’m able to see just how short I fall from Our Father’s standards for me. Now all I can see are the times when I’ve spaced out while praying, when I’ve skimmed through scripture with my attention really on the television running in the background, when I’ve glibly promised that I would pray for someone and then forgotten to actually do the praying until days later.

    I’m ashamed of those shallow failures now, but Jesus gave his life and got it back so that I don’t have to stay ashamed forever and I can grow beyond my shortcomings, errors and wrongdoing. I’ve already learned to keep a list on my cell phone of my prayer cover promises and I can learn to pray out loud so that my thoughts can’t stray so easily. I can also turn off the television and read the Word in reverent silence, even reading aloud if that’s the only way to prevent skimming over the message God has provided so that I can grow in my relationship with me.

    Thank you, Father God, for loving me even with all my flaws, and thank you, James, for reminding me that I need to see those flaws so I can bring them to him for his forgiveness. I am more blessed than even I can comprehend.


      • mammapropria says:

        That’s true, we all do it, but somehow knowing that I have lots of company sharing my failures and shortcomings doesn’t make them any less significant. Thankfully, it is also true that we can all fix it, but to fix anything we have to look closely and clearly at the failure we’ve decided to fix. Thanks for giving your readership the nudge to step out from behind the shield of ‘everybody does it’ and into the truth that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, regardless of whether our failures are minor or mind-blowing major sins.


  2. I’ve got good news for you, Jim, all of your bonehead moves have been redeemed!!!! Yes, all of them. God doesn’t face palm or bang his head against the wall cuz he knows your covered! That’s the good news.
    Bad news: Your wife may not enjoy your bonehead moves. LOL

    Actually, thanks for reminding us we are all human.

    My bonehead moves???

    I’ve done the falling asleep while praying thing… too many times. But then, I wake up praying. Does that balance out?

    How about stubbing my toe, or smashing my finger, and before I can slap duct tape across my lips, the words, “Son-of-a” comes flying out and I have to redeem it with, “Biscuit eater!!!” Of course, I have now learned that is referred to as Christian cussing. Youtube it. It’s funny.


  3. Mensching Linda says:

    Yeh, I am one of those people who are in debt. Have been all my life. It is very hard to get out of debt but I am working on it. About the Lords Prayer. I have changed some of the words and made it more personal, like “My Father who lives in Heaven, Holy is your name” Try personalize it and it will mean more to you. Have a good day.


    • I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey, which is probably a bit obvious if you read through my posts. I would recommend to anyone that they go through his Financial Peace University. It’s offered through churches and will change your life. One of his lines is really on point: “You can wander into debt, but you can’t wander out of it.” And… I love your comment about the Lord’s prayer. I’ll try that. Thanks!


  4. Daily Quiz…
    A) Spacing Out
    B) Falling Asleep
    C) Inconsistent Giving
    D) Mountain of Debt
    E) None of the Above

    Did YOU pass ? By admitting our failures… and giving them up to God… we all PASS !
    Eph 2:8
    Blessings to you Jim and your followers! … I’m loving your posts !



  5. So many times I know He is rolling his eyes in response to my sweating the small stuff and forgetting to call upon Him to hand over my worries. “I’m still here my child”… he quietly assures me… “right where I’ve always been” and I (silly me) continue to be amazed that he’s not weary of my chronic forgetfulness! In response to the Lord’s Prayer and robotically reciting the same: when we lived overseas we were invited pray together, out loud, the prayer of our Lord in the language in which we learned it. There was, what seemed to me at first, a cacophony of disparate sounds that started and ended at different times. Over time I came to develeop an eagerness for this time of the worship service… never before had I fosused so intently on each and every word, I had to listen to my own voice over what I came to think of as Babel sounds and our Lord’s prayer took on a whole new dimension for me. When we moved back “home” I missed that experience and was a bit saddened to hear only one language, English! Now, I have to work harder to focus on those words, my own words… in my own language, but I imagine myself in that Pentecost-like setting all over again, each and every week; it is a pure joy!


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