Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When things get real

There is something that God has been working on teaching me for the past year or so, maybe not even that long, but it is an idea that has been brought to the forefront of my mind multiple times. It is really a pretty simple concept, and important for us to understand as Christians when it comes to how we are to serve those around us. I have recently learned that it is also equally true for Christians to understand it in our own lives when it comes to obedience.

The basic idea is this: a person will agree with or follow any idea they hear, up until it becomes real to them. At the point that it becomes real, they must react and make a choice. This choice is one that will alter the course of their life from then on.

We see this all the time, whether we recognize it or not. Matt Chandler explains it in The Explicit Gospel by saying that when a person hears Biblical truth, they are in a position that requires response. As Christians, we cannot be responsible for the response of others to these truths, we must allow God to work in the heart. Mark Driscoll refers to it with a statement he often makes when he is preaching something that is difficult to understand or accept, he will say that it is his job to tell the truth, but yours to respond to it.

For me, this came to a head recently on a decision I had to make for my family. To spare the details, I will simply say that I had to choose between an earthly good and a Godly stance on an issue. I was faced with responding to what I know is truth, knowing the correct response would hurt people close to me. I could have buried my faith, and my head, in the sand... in the name of peace, or I could stand for the truth. I wrestled with this for a long time, looking at the ripple effect on many people I care about, but I kept coming back to the universal truth that sin is sin, and God takes it seriously. I kept coming to a place of understanding that just because our culture today is willing to accept certain sins as norms in our culture, doesn't mean that its right. I had to choose to stand against, not in condemnation of the people I care about, but to help show that I do not support their choice. It came to a point that I had to make them understand that my love for them includes the need to stand up at times and let them know they are making a choice that lies in direct opposition to the word of God. My choice to be a follower of Christ got very real to me in this time... in a way I feel it was called onto the carpet. Its not the first, nor will it be the last, we all face the types of trials. We all face times when we know we need to stand up for the commands of God, especially when it is difficult. We find a line in the sand drawn, and we have to choose where we stand... in this instance I chose to stand with God, in hopes that my doing so will help these people take a long look at the choice that they are making, and will respond appropriately.

What about you, when was the last time that you were faced with something becoming too real? Are you faced with it now? The reality of who God is, the reality of what Christ has done, demands a response. I hope you choose to respond in faith and obedience, not choosing to shy away or hide so that you don't stand against the wrong things of this world. I hope I have learned through this experience that, while it is hard and it really sucks to hurt someone you love, it is God that I must ultimately answer to. I thank anyone who knows more details on this situation and has been praying for me.

I'll leave by saying this, in the words of my dad, you are ultimately responsible for you. If you don't like something, change it. If you are unhappy with how something in your life is going, fix it... I'll go one further though, if you are seeking change, or a fix, seek God. Allow God to guide your changes and your fixes, submit to Him and choose to respond.

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