There is a bit of a self-serving aspect to this article, but there is a valuable lesson here too. It’s self-serving because I do feel a sense of gratification in defending myself, but then when I think of the full implications of what I have to say, that self-gratification dwindles a bit.
You know, it’s gotten to the point where I feel tempted to explain my every thought and motive because there are always going to be people who assume the worst. There are always going to be people who take something I write or say and read things into my intentions that are unfair.
There is something I’ve learned about that. When someone makes assumptions about the “why” behind a person’s actions, actions that could have many “whys,” what we are really seeing is something hidden within themselves. So, I try to let it go. I’ve been bad about making assumptions. I still do it and I have to take control of those thoughts, so I get it.
We are made to see patterns in everything. Just be careful what you think you see, especially if what you think you see is wrong and leads you towards making a false accusation of someone–either in your heart, passive aggressively, or openly.
Why do people read things into my words that are unfair? There again, we are getting to the “why,” and there could be a lot of “whys.” Maybe I don’t communicate clearly enough, or maybe some people feel threatened for one reason or another. Maybe both. Maybe there are other reasons.
All I know, is this: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
When I first started KindlingTruth, I felt like I should do something about the state of things within Christianity today. It wasn’t long before I realized something very important: this starts with myself. I need to focus on “me and my house.” I need to “get my house in order.” So, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I cannot change the world, nor do I wish to. God has a purpose for all things, and trying to change that is vain and a lack of faith.
No, we cannot change the world. We shouldn’t necessarily. Yet, Jesus does change our world if we follow Him closely.
For the past several years, the purpose behind KindlingTruth has been an honest showing of one Christian journey towards the things of the kingdom of heaven with hopes of helping others along the way — especially those who were like I once was: lost, confused, and dead inside — all the while claiming Christianity, but without really knowing what being a Christian is about.
As I learn what being a Christian is about and as I continue getting my house in order, I share things. That’s it. Sometimes it’s a matter or doctrine. Sometimes it’s a perspective on a delicate issue. Sometimes it’s a struggle with sin. Sometimes it’s an article of encouragement written at a time when I need encouragement myself. There are a lot of little motives, but they are all pointed in the same direction: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Let people think what they will. If the accusations come from misunderstanding, I hope I can help you understand. I’m not that hard to approach. I won’t make anyone feel bad or stupid. I’ve made enough mistakes in my own life to keep me grounded, I should hope, so reach out. Start a discussion with me — not behind my back or openly in a passive aggressive manner.
If the accusations come from fear or feeling threatened in some way, then that’s not good either. Let’s talk about that. The only reason a person should feel threatened by my work is if they do not really love the things of Jesus and take Him seriously. Here’s why:
I started becoming very serious about the Christian faith about 5 years ago. Before I write this know that my boasting is in Jesus only. I am His work, and I know this fully-well. 5 years ago I was a total mess. I was not a good wife. I had no idea how to be a good parent. I was not a good family member to anyone, a selfish friend, someone consumed by all kinds of destructive behaviors. I thought Jesus was one of many ways to God. I was very lost and became suicidal before calling out to Jesus.
Now, 5 years later, there is massive change. This goes back to what I wrote above. We cannot change the world, but Jesus can change ours. I’m not who I was. My “house,” both my spiritual house and my family home, have undergone a serious renovation. There are things within my past that have lingering affects on my present in a negative way, but those affects continue to change for the better. I have a great life, and I have Jesus to thank. Are there troubles? Sure, but there is also love and life — and a lot of it!
So, here is the threat: If Jesus can change my world so drastically in 5 years, what’s your excuse? (Of course, here I speak to those who use Jesus as an excuse for sinfulness). That’s a sobering thought. That’s the thought that makes this post much-less self-gratifying because I realize a general consequence of my testimony. People who claim Christianity but do not go on towards positive change in Jesus are without excuse–especially when they hear testimonies like mine and reject them. We grow at the rate Jesus deems fit, but there should be growth. There should be “fruitfulness” as the scriptures say.
There will always be those who reject the transformative aspect of the gospel. “Why?” There could be a lot of reasons, but the scriptures do tell is that these things happen because people love sin. They don’t want to come to the light because darkness is more comfortable to them. They like the version of Christianity that allows them to wallow in sin and use Jesus as a get-out-of-hell free card. They don’t like the version of Christianity that says “take up your cross and follow me.” They are not willing to die to this world and be made new in Jesus. They love the world too much.
On the other hand, there are those who are inspired to seek Jesus more fully themselves. There are those who feel the oppression of this world, and most importantly, the oppression of their own sin. There are those who take a great deal of comfort in knowing that Jesus is alive and He works wonderful things in us. These works in us change us from the inside out, making us more like Him. The process is painful at times. Very painful. Yet, it is so very much worth it. This process continues our entire lives, so there is so much to look forward to for those Christians who want to love Jesus more than this world.
What’s the take away from all of this? There are a few things.
For one, we cannot fight all of the evils in this world, but we can fight the evils in our own world through faith in Jesus. We can have peace while the world falls apart because we know that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Jesus is faithful towards His servants. He will keep us no matter what, even if our lives are given up for the gospel’s sake.
For two, be careful in making assumptions about people. We are often wrong. When we see ourselves doing that, consider that the assumption you’re making speaks more towards a struggle you have. This can be a useful tool in noticing hidden sins. It has been for me.
Lastly, a Christian who does not follow Jesus is not a real Christian. However, we can all grow and many of us go through phases when we are not as faithful as we would like to be. I certainly have. For most of my life I would have been seen as a “tare” among the “wheat” by serious Christians. Many might still see me that way. So, there again, we need to be careful of our judgements. We also need to be careful in rejecting testimonies that show us a powerful Christian truth: Jesus can make you free. If you like bondage to sin, you will have it. You will also have the consequence: death.
If you want someone to talk to as you work out your faith, I’m here. You can find my email on the contact page. I felt mostly alone for the last 5 years, and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way. There is some benefit to this isolation, so follow what is best for you. Just know there is someone here who might understand what you’re going through, who will support you. Someone who will not leave you stigmatized by your past, but also won’t enable you to stay where you are, but instead encourage growth and movement forward.
That’s what Jesus does for us, and the closer we get to Him and “get our house in order”, we should strive to do the same for others. That’s how a Christian should impact the world. One small change to our world at a time, and one small change to someone else’s.