Sometimes when I sit down to write this blog I find myself editing out statements or ideas that sound too Jesus-y. On occasion I avoid topics altogether because I know I have a lot of non-Christian readers and I don’t want to scare them off with too much God talk. I avoid using too much scripture because I don’t want people to just zone out and skim through.
If I am talking to people who I know share the same thoughts and ideas as I do, I freely and liberally reference God’s providence, Jesus’ grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is easy for me to refer to good things as blessings and bad things as trials or temptations. But if I am talking to someone who may not share my faith, I temper my words and stifle my true feelings.
I get a lot of people who ask my advice about stuff. Marriage stuff, kid stuff, job stuff…lots of stuff. In my heart I know that the answer to everything is usually Jesus, but many times I justify my lack of Jesus based responses by saying that Jesus isn’t where you start, it’s where you end. I feel like I need to work people up to Jesus.
Instead of wanting to be known as a woman who is trying to be holy, I have found myself preferring to be known as the cool Christian. I talk about the days when I pretty much stayed high or drunk as if they were the good old days. In conversations, I make sure that I work in that I have a close friend who is gay or family member that is in jail. I have taken pride in the fact that I could hang with sinners while not sinning myself. Ordinarily this would be good - I mean Jesus did it, but I’m sure his motives were pure. Mine weren’t based on trying to connect for the purposes of changing people’s hearts, mine were based on not looking like an out of touch religious zealot like Ned Flanders from the Simpsons.
The apostle Paul said that he became all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:19), and I believe that we, as Christians, should do a better job of that. But if you keep reading he says that the reason he did that was so that he could gain their souls and win them over to Christ…not so he didn’t look like a weirdo.
Every day I have joy in the fact that no matter what is going on around me, I have been given a second chance in life. I was scum of the earth and now I am a child of the one true King. I have gone from being a person who belongs in prison to being a person who is able to minister and worship with prisoners. I used to deserve Hell and was headed straight there. Actually, I still deserve hell. But I have been given a get-out-of-hell-free card and am just waiting for the day when I can leave all this stuff behind and go to Heaven.
In Matthew 10:33, Jesus basically says that he isn’t going to vouch for people in Heaven who don’t vouch for him here on earth. I don’t want to be one of those people. I love what Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 10:27. He says, “What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” It’s time for me to stop worrying about the perceptions of people and start shouting it from the rooftops.
Time for me to choose my label and just roll with it.