Sometimes obeying God costs other people more than it does us. Sometimes obeying God means we upset someone else’s plans or we make uncomfortable.
We can prevent it, of course by disobeying and bring immediate relief to the people in our life. We can start living like them. We can keep quiet and not express our faith when it’s necessary.
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to say? You felt conflicted. Should you say something or not?
I hope so. Because if you haven’t I doubt your faith is being tested.
I am not talking about being an obnoxious Christian who goes out of their way to make their point. Personally, I try hard to be sensitive to the views of others but if in a situation where it’s impossible to avoid expressing my views, I don’t back down either.
I was in a conversation recently with some people and a certain controversial subject came up. I almost shied away because we were guests in their home. But they were more than willing to express their views and opened the conversation so my feeling is always that if a conversation is truly a conversation and not a monologue, all opinions can be expressed. I spoke up but they seemed uncomfortable when I shared my opinion, although I hadn’t felt the least bit uncomfortable with theirs. Their “uncomfortableness” is for them to handle.
I’d thought about this subject a lot. I’d done my homework. I’d considered whether I could be wrong. I kept coming to the same conclusion so it wasn’t as if I were talking with no substance to back it up.
So why is it, that when a Christian chooses to abstain from certain practices because they are not consistent with their personal Christian witness, they are considered “out-of-touch”? After all, “It’s common practice anymore” they say. Isn’t that like a child that says, “Gosh, mom, everyone else is doing it”.
I thought adults, Christian adults, were way beyond that.
I thought we were supposed to live “holy” lives and while we all have our definition of what that is, the Bible has some pretty clear statements about what “holy” should look like.
The word “holy” is like the word “sin”-not much in use anymore. There’s a good reason for that.
Nobody wants to hear about holiness or sin. Period.
Hey, I don’t either. And I have as much a problem living my life within the standards of Scripture as anyone else.
I have my struggles with sin. I eat too many sweets sometimes. That’s not a sin, you might say but when you consider our bodies are to be a temple worthy of presenting to God, it’s not just a bad habit. It’s a sin because it causes me to “miss the mark” in my relationship with God. (For those of you who don’t know, the accepted definition of sin is “missing the mark”. Boy, that covers a lot, doesn’t it?)
And everyday, I ‘miss the mark”. As do you.
But back to that conversation. We should never be uncomfortable if our choices seem more restrictive than others. For some of us, a little of anything would be way too much because of the guilt we would feel. When I say I eat too many sweets sometimes, I’m referring to the one piece of cake, or the one candy bar that I might indulge in now and then. Many would never consider that excess but it is for me. Not because I have a weight problem, but precisely because I don’t.
My husband could have that one piece of cake and put on five pounds. I don’t. I just come from “good stock”. It’s in my “jeans”.
So because I don’t have a problem, it would be too easy for me to eat a whole cake if I didn’t choose to reign myself in. This is a round about way of saying that I feel I’m more accountable not less in this area of my life. I have the good genetic fortune of not putting on weight easily, so for me it’s important I don’t take advantage of that. When I fail, I consider it more than a bad habit. It really is “sin”for me because it reminds me that I’ve overindulged just because I can. If that’s not sin, I don’t know what is.
(Are you following this convoluted explanation?)
Anyway, we all decide for ourselves what we want our life to look like to others-to those who share our faith and to those who don’t.
We shouldn’t judge anyone else for their decisions nor should we be judged for ours but we should be willing to have an honest and kind conversation about our differences so we can all grow.
God frown on our sacrifices no matter how noble, if with those sacrifices mercy, compassion, and justice are compromised.
God bless and I hope you have a good day