I have started and deleted this blog post more times than I can count at this point. In no way do I pretend to be perfect, for my list of personal weaknesses and daily offenses is long, distinguished and documented firmly in my spirit, but I am so very challenged lately by the attitudes and general responses from others lately.
Where is the love???
Now don’t get me wrong, I love people. I know people have stuff. We all have bad days. We can all become consumed with our own struggles. This time of year, we as a culture get all mushy and start to think more about others and giving and charity, but we very quickly can return to the same self-absorbed, self-centered, entitled and oh-so-finicky humans we were pre-Halloween.
Recently, after a lengthy exchange of friendly emails, I suddenly received a rather snarky, and quite unexpected, “you aren’t meeting my specific needs” kind of email, and it honestly really threw me. Working at a Christian church, and a Christian school, I will tell you that I am simply not used to such exchanges anymore. Or rather, I really don’t anticipate them…
Where is the grace???
This morning I watched a video about a Christian organization that ministers to refugees flooding the Grecian coastline by meeting practical medical, safety and spiritual needs. I sobbed the entire time. Seeing people in such dire, dire need…children so scared, tired, dehydrated, in pain…moms and dads risking death to flee to anywhere other than home is more compelling than words.
While I sit luxuriously with my coffee, working “hard” on the computer, listening to my heat come on automatically and my very healthy and safe children interact in the next room, texting my teens in their safe school, knowing that no bombs will be dropping on my rooftop today, there are people in dire NEED in this world. Right now. With every one of my relaxed breaths, comes the last of someone else’s…
Friends, Jesus said to go out and to make disciples. He said to share the good news. If we only see our bible studies and churches, our convenient online services, as a means to be FILLED up with no release, we will become UNfulfilled. We lose our very FAITH! We are not meant to be like a man-made lake just getting “filled up” every week from our cozy chair – such bodies of water become stagnant without a constant source of input and output. No, we are meant to be open conduits. The more we are filled, the more we should pour out. We NEED to pour out. Jesus did not die so we could just soak up the grace and become godly, cozy, largely useless sponges. He died so we could HELP HIS PEOPLE.
To whom much is given, much is expected. – Luke 12:48
To the degree that we humble ourselves to the process, is the degree by which we can measure our true understanding of our calling and the extreme sacrifice Christ made to set us free. Do you want to experience God’s presence? Do you long to see His hand move upon the injustices of this world? You can – by looking in the mirror!
Where is the freedom???
Practice sharing your faith to overcome personal insecurities greeting at the door of your church. Hone your ability to effectively communicate the gospel and lead someone to Christ by teaching a children’s class. Boost your sensitivity and compassion levels by praying with those in the hospital, collecting turkey dinners and signing up to hand them out, visiting the sick and bringing them a meal. Increase your capacity to humble your heart by taking ownership of His house and cleaning up after service, or painting the church during the week. Deepen your gratitude by financially supporting the church house that feeds and trains you, while preparing you to turn outward to those who are waiting for YOU to help them.
Freedom has no value in a box, as an ideology, or even within the four walls of your church. Freedom is only freedom when it is USED to set another free. Until we get outside of what we believe our personal “needs” are and turn our hearts towards those around us, the only person truly in bondage is
Please consider giving to something bigger than yourself. Whether it be your local church, your favorite missionary effort, or a global outreach, the only one who can truly make a difference is you. Below is a link to my current heart. Shalom.