This morning in Dale’s sermon, he challenged us to take whatever abilities we have and tell God’s story with them. I’m going to attempt to do that over this next month. This is the beginning of however I end up telling this story, and it came out quickly. Almost TOO quick. A part of me felt lame because it isn’t some long, saturated piece with incredible imagery. But I keep going over it, and something keeps telling me to leave it alone. So, that I will do. Like a friend said to me last week, “…but then I remembered scripture talking about how even nature praises God. So, I’m not bummed out that’s it’s easy to write a song that worships Him.” I don’t think this will be a song, but more of a spoken word. Who knows.
I’ve noticed something lately that leaves me both terribly burdened and deeply motivated.
As I read the constant stream of Facebook statuses and hear the things that come out of the peoples mouths around me, I’m reminded of an earlier time in my life. A time where I thought I knew Jesus really well, and God needed ME. A time of complete ignorance to my innate crookedness and my black heart. This was only 1-4 years ago, but I’ve been proclaiming “CHRISTIANITY!!!” for the majority of my short life.
During this season of life, I was constantly asserting my opinion into anything and everything that allowed it, and I regret to say that 99.9% of it was not of a redemptive, gospel nature. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I kinda did. I didn’t care though. “Well it’s the truth, and if people don’t like it, oh well for them.”
How incredibly selfish.
How shamefully inaccurate.
I cringe at the reality that I probably hurt, isolated and destroyed a lot of people. This is the part of our walk with Christ, one of those awakening moments, that does not feel good. Oh, how greatly I need that abounding grace, and how grateful I am that it flows in streams eternal.
And I still do it on occasion! When my worth is in question, when I’ve been wronged, or if I’ve simply woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I can say (or type) something that the devil revels in.
When I originally wanted to write this post, I felt real fiery about it. That was a sign that I needed to wait a week or two. Continue to listen and be quiet, continue to receive grace. If I had written it immediately, then I most definitely would have committed the very offense I hate so much.
The reality is, I’m no better than the worst offender in this area. So, I say this with the utmost humility: if you call yourself a Christian, but your opinion constantly comes before others feelings, identities and salvation (or lack there of), then you are not promoting the gospel and all of the love, hope, justification and redemption that it brings. You simply aren’t. James 3 speaks for itself:
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is notthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to be right.
With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to assert our opinion and judgement.
With Jesus’ blood comes the desire to further the kingdom with a pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere heart.
Is that what your heart looks like? If your not sure, read your Facebook statuses over the last month. Think about everything you’ve said since Monday.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.