Thursday, October 23, 2008

Right or Wrong?

As Christians I strongly believe that we have an obligation to stand up for what is right....but what does it mean to "stand up for" and when does it cross the line. When is it doing the right thing and when is it being too rigid.

I'm taking an Apologetics class and, this weekend, as part of one of my assignments, I had to write about the obligation that, as Christians, we have to defend that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Hard stance, yeah....does believing this mean that those who don't will go to Hell? NO, believing it doesn't mean that....that reality exists whether you believe the statement or not. It's pretty black and either believe in and follow Christ and enter the kingdom of Heaven or you don't and you go to Hell. No gray...very clear!! Why then is it that some of our Christian leaders have a hard time making that harsh statement?? I understand that many just don't want to be considered as judging people and I fully agree that a persons salvation is God's choice and I dare not question his decision....but, he didn't give us the Bible and tell us the truth about Jesus so that we could let our brothers perish (go to Hell) simply because we refused to take a hard stance and explain to them why Jesus is the only way to fact our "Great Commission" is to do just that!

Anyway, that was a bit more of a tangent than I had intended but, to the point, God is very black and shouldn't we also be? I guess that depends on the question, problem or situation...or does it?? Isn't there usually a very clear right and a very clear wrong? I realize that we receive and should give grace, but that doesn't take away the issue as being either right or wrong, good or bad. Truthfully, I have no idea what the answer to that question is...I have my opinions but I realize that maybe I'm wrong.

I'd love to hear any thoughts??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Revealing Jealousy

I've been fascinated over the past few weeks reading the blogs of other people. To begin, although I was entertained/fascinated, I must admit there was some part of me that was confused and maybe even a little (ok a lot) jealous. As for the confusion, it really kind of boggles my mind why people do this...why write? And more importantly, why write about your most personal thoughts and prayers for the whole world to see? As for the jealousy, well, that's something I suppose I've struggled with ever since...well, as long as I can remember. I don't know at what point it really started, but I have to say I've spent way too much of my life just wanting to be like someone else. I remember as a young child wanting to be more like my best friend. She was blonde, I was a brunette. She had long straight hair, mine was curly. She was part Native American and therefore dark skinned, I was as pale as they come. She got to do all sorts of things that I didn't....she took dance, took piano lessons, rode horses....I took piano lessons (and when you're 7 or 8, that's stupid)!! Anyway, I don't know why I was jealous, never really thought about it. But, it's a behavior that I learned early and one that sticks with me still today. As for blogging, I'm jealous of the way people write, the way many are very insightful about who they are and seem to know exactly their emotions and where they come from, what they want out of life, etc. So, in hopes of overcoming that very strange jealousy, I decided to take a stab at writing my own blog....even if it's just one post (I'll explain later).

I have realized over the past few months that I don't do a very good job of self-reflecting and because of that I'm a pretty closed individual. Now, some of you that know me wouldn't necessarily agree with that. But, I'll explain why it's true. I don't intentionally withhold information and actually I will share quite a bit, the problem is, because I don't take the time to fully understand myself, I can't possibly reveal to you who I really am. You will never know my most interpersonal thoughts hopes and dreams if I don't understand what they are. So, I'm hoping that through writing, I can spend a little more time understanding my most personal thoughts and prayers and I write not only reveal those to myself, but also to anyone who might want to read this.

Now, I may through this quickly decide that blogging is definitely not for me. That's ok, I can say I've given it a try. And, I hope that by trying, I can become less jealous of others that are very gifted at sharing their hearts...understand that is their gifting and keep uncovering the gifts that God has given me.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. -Romans 12:3-8

Father, I pray that through this desire/nagging need to write that has been placed on my heart over the past few weeks you would reveal to me what you need me to learn. I pray that my words may also encourage others. Father, please forgive me for having a jealous spirit, I know that is not your desire and that it does not please you. I pray, Father, that our trust and faith would remain solely in you and that we would be pleased, thrilled even, with the way you created us and not jealous of the ways that others were created. Your word says, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." Father, help me to not be jealous, harboring selfish ambition but to seek and find wisdom, peace and satisfaction in you and you alone and not in the things of this world. It's in your son's holy and precious name that I pray! - Amen