Finally at the letter Z of my alphabet blogging and I'd like to end it with the question, are we "zig zag Christians"?
Sometimes Christians get put into the category of hypocrite and often times it is true. We say one thing and do another. We say we believe in a loving God who offers mercy, forgiveness, and grace yet we fail to show the characteristics of the God we love so much. Many people carry the title of Christian but do they live out what they say they are. I think calling yourself Christian is a huge deal and it doesn't just mean that you go to church every Sunday or twice a year on the "Christian holiday". Our pastor last week said that people who come to church on the holidays consider themselves a Christian, but they don't live it out... what about those other 363 days of the year that you're not going to church.
It is more than just knowing and accepting Jesus, but I believe it is living out your life the way that Jesus did.
My dear friend Timmy posed a series of questions in his blog:
"What do you do when you go to church? You know that you should have one thing in mind, and that is God. Why can’t we have these standards in our daily lives? If we go to church with these standards, then how come we don’t live them out after church? We are the church, so what is stopping us? We weren’t called to have these emotions in church, and that is something that most of us can understand, but what some might not understand is the way we act in church should be equivalent to the way we act outside of church. You don’t come to church to be angry, upset, bitter, selfish, so why would you do that anywhere else? In church we worship God, so why are we worshiping something else when we leave the church? We are the church, so make sure our attitudes are equivalent."
Timmy is right on the nose with how I'm feeling and what I wanted to blog about. He is right, we are the church and we should start acting like it each and every day. What kind of people would we be to come into church and lift our hands and sing praises out to God and ten minutes after the service we are cut off and let loose verbally or with hand gestures at another driver out of just leaving the church parking lot. Did the message not stick? I often find myself in this conundrum of believing in the good things of God but not acting them out fully. We all do it don't we, but I really felt guilt them time and maybe that guilt is God working and moving for me to be better verses not realizing and carrying on and continuing to sin.
I sometimes fall into the sin of gossip through venting through my frustrations. Well this time it happen at work, all day. All of my co-workers and I fell into talking about someone who wasn't there. This person isn't a Christian and is not a huge fan in the office as well because they are living for self and not for God and it is daily expressed through their words and actions. Well the tension is released when they aren't around, we all talk freely and can smile and laugh, all while still getting all of our work done. Now truth was being spoken about the person, but we all repeated it through the day and made jokes of this person and digs at them. We all laughed and I was actually funny and I couldn't believe some of the things that slipped from my mouth. Where was I getting this sharp and piercing tongue.Satan already got hold of them and for that afternoon/day he took hold of my tongue. I couldn't believe I let him in, but I honestly feel he's been crouching in the corner for months and most days I can fight him and the negativity that he brings off, but today I lost that battle even though I had the tools to succeed.
Not even a minute of driving after work, it hit me, God hit me. What was I doing? I felt immense amounts of sadness and disappointment in myself. I apologized to my co-workers that were there because they know me to be a "good person" and the nice "Christian girl" in the office. They reassured me that she'd do the same and that what I was saying was truth. Did their words or assurances help me? NO!
How can I be nice to her face and play nice amidst the evil in our office, but then talk about her when she's not around. I immediately canceled my plans for the evening and spent over an hour listening to worship music and talking with God and even going on a walk to reflect and repent and pray. As a Christian woman who has an intimate relationship with Christ, I can't keep running back and forth between two worlds making these zig zags that will tie themselves up in the end and I can end up getting railroaded by the the evil I keep giving into or allowing into my life. I need to be loving to this person at all times, whether they are present or not. That is how God would want me to live and work out, I know my future and destiny with Him and am filled with ultimate joy because of His mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
When I decided on Him and chose Him in my heart and was baptized, I because a living stone.
"So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You've had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness.
Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God." -1 Peter 2:1-5
We are the church and we were made living stones when we accepted Christ. As living stones we were made apart of a building project to be connected with others, Christian and non-Christian. God is building something, Jesus was and is the center of the foundation of whatever He is building. Jesus is building a divine community, a church. Jesus will protect it and we must reflect on His image. Jesus will protect me from the evil I feel and face at work, anywhere, and everywhere; instead of using words and gossip as my defense mechanism. I need to honor Christ's sacrifice, the one who spilled His blood, the one who gave it all. We need to be in awe of Him and be mindful of Him, He will protect you and me. We need live outside of the church as Chsitians, not just inside. Our mission field is everywhere we are, not just within the walls, or in Africa, or a missions trip. Our mission field is EVERYWHERE.
We are not a community of fake people (at least I hope that we would strive to not be), we need to say words that people understand. We can relate to lost, hurting, and broken people. We have degrees in sin and brokenness that give us better reason to love and serve those inside and outside of the church walls because we have been redeemed. Let us untangle the ropes and serve God, serve His people and continue to build people up and build HIS HOUSE.
Ready, Get Set, Go!!!