“I write about love and such, maybe cuz I want it so much. You know I’m not who I was”
What a great line from a good song. It’s funny the things we search for or more aptly long for when we are devoid of them in our lives in some way. Love for instance is a fairly common thing that the heart pines for. When you don’t have it you almost always seem to want some level of it. Whether from a parent, a child, a spouse or a friend, when we want to be loved, that desire has a tendency to override nearly every facet of our lives. It is that strong.
I have written about a lot of things but one thing sticks out in my mind more than any other as I look back over the last couple of years. My desire has been to be more public with how I feel in regards to my faith. In August I wrote a piece titled ‘therapy’ in which I suggested being extremely bold.
Since then I have started some new trends. For instance I sing out loud quite commonly to songs I enjoy. In the past, the songs were probably more secular so as to blend or seek commonality with a possible listener. Today I am singing songs from my favorite Christian alternative station and not just the lyrics that would normally be deemed socially acceptable in any circle.
Another trend is to concentrate on Jesus 24/7, not just Sunday mornings when my church buddies are watching. Focusing on Christ is becoming a daily habit. It isn’t easy but I knew none of this would ever be. It was understood from the beginning that I would have to work at this. The result of this regular focus has been in my being an example for Him. I want others to see it in my face, to witness it in my attitude and to know there is something different about me that is contagious.
In the past several years I have tried to better understand other philosophies and strongly held religious beliefs. For me to properly deal with the public that I am faced with daily, I must know what motivates them. For some it is simply the money in their wallet or the lack thereof. For others there is a strong sense of faith, regardless of alignment with what I believe. In regards to other religions I have had to ask some very difficult questions, such as; ‘How easy would it be for you to give up your faith?’
People like you and I travel through this life believing that their religion is right and yours and mine is wrong, even if the only difference is the denomination. Ultimately we condemn others for their hypocrisy and feel justified by simply saying that “they will get theirs, God will see to that”.
So we dwell in our own faith and accept Jesus as our Savior and go to church on Sunday and try our best to be the good little Christian we think we ought to be. We are honest most of the time and do good things occasionally and give of our time and resources when possible, all with the intention of seeing Christ upon his return. But what throws me is I know the first question that’s coming. Our Lord is going to ask “What did you do with my son?”
I have thought long and hard about that question and ultimately I have to answer first by saying that I helped put him on that tree. Christ would not have had to die if not for our sins, so therefore I am as responsible as the next person. But in that moment I hope to follow that up by saying that while I am undeserving and not worthy, it is His grace that washes over me and sets me free. In His name I am given the free gift of eternal life.
Lastly, if there’s time and God hasn’t cut me off for talking too much, I hope to say that because Jesus died on the cross for me, the impact led me to live a life of service and gratitude for Him while telling others the good news. I hope to say that my life had some sort of impact on the kingdom. I hope that just one soul found Jesus because of the way I lived my life, because of the example I provided.
So here it is, a bit of culmination to the script. It is one thing to be filled with the Holy Spirit and know the truth and be passionate about what you believe in, but most of us keep it to ourselves. There is that apprehension that we will be mocked and looked down upon. We don’t want the discrimination or the funny looks. We like most of our friends, Christian or otherwise.
We live two lives, our Sunday life where we give it all to God for a few hours in the morning and then the other life where we give it all to something or someone else. It’s not that we’re purposely that way, it just happens. The deal is this however, the only Christian people that see the way you’re living are the ones you see on Sunday. The rest of the week you tend to be surrounded by people who need to see Jesus in you who may not know who He is. The most important time of the week for exemplifying your Christian walk is from Monday to Saturday, not Sunday morning.
Trust me when I say this is an ongoing battle for me, but it is one that with God’s help I am winning.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24 (The Message) says this,
"Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it! "
These verses help define what our focus should be. Keeping our eyes on that which we can count on, no matter what this life throws at us.
my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.