Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Righteousness or Rightness

I'm sharing mainly to believers in Christ here. This whole ordeal with Chick-fil-a is so blown out I think. This is on my heart about this day or any other day as a believer in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In standing for what we believe in (traditional marriage between one woman and one man), or any other truth we stand for, and then possibly dealing with others who attack or mistreat us for what we believe, even within the body of Christ sometimes; let us remember all of Gal. 6.; not only remember it, but obey it. Let us remember that we ALL FALL SHORT, and we are ALL as believers striving to grow closer to the 'SON'. At the same time, even doing something as simply speaking what one believes, can bring on a lot of opposition by the one who disagrees, even if we do it with all the love our heart can hold! If a person chooses to be offended, they will be no matter how we approach them. I've been on the giving and receiving end of the harsh tongue at different times in my life. Sometimes, especially in the body of Christ, it can cut so deeply. What hurts the most, is when reaching out to another christian to try to make things right, and they will not communicate or try to make amends. Something I've learned through it all. It's like the line in that Bonnie Raitt song, "Cause I can't make you love me if you don't You can't make your heart feel something it won't" Yes that is a love song. Jesus is our love song. He also COMMANDS us to love. He doesn't suggest it, He commands it. Pure love, unconditional love, agape love (selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature)! The problem is, so many of us do not even KNOW what that kind of love LOOKS like. We can't MAKE anyone, christian or non-believer LOVE JESUE OR US in THIS WAY, if they are not willing to open the heart. We CAN pray, and hope for this. Something else I've learned: Relationship is better than rightness! There are boundaries that can't be crossed as well in relationship. We can hold up those boundaries in a loving way! We can 'communicate' and 'correct' someone who struggles with Agape LOVE. In relationship, we have an opportunity to demonstrate God's unconditional love and truth as we are living it out. I'm not talking about being best friends with the world, or those who continue to choose that path against God's truth, but loving others as Christ loved. Jesus ate with and communed with sinners-took time to connect with them, He met needs of those caught in sin, then once He touched the life and met the NEED, and they received and were willing to hear truth, He said.."You are forgiven, Go and sin no more". Some of those 'sinners' became the saints... closest of Jesus's companions AFTER they turned from sin and chose to walk with Him. He was also patient with them, even after they became believers and disciples. Peter denied Him 3 times, he shot off at the mouth at the most inappropriate times, yet Jesus saw THE HEART, and he was patient and loving with Peter, because he KNEW Peter's weakness. He also knew that Peter so desired in his heart to do what is right. He stayed close to Peter, even through his fleshly struggles. I love this about Jesus, and those who walk out His love like this! I'm more affected by someone's LOVE and COMPASSION, GRACE and MERCY to forgive me, over hammering me with my wrong behaviors and then shunning me. If we are going to correct someone, take the time to allow them to work it out with the Lord. Until then, continue to love and receive them with HIS love! God will work on our hearts, and ALL of us need heart surgery! I don't care how 'saintly' a person is, there is always something in the heart that God is working on in us ALL. Some of the most difficult pain I've had over the past several years, has been in examining MY OWN heart, and what is truly going on inside of it! The enemy would love for me to walk condemned, but I'm learning to deal with it as it comes, and release it to God. "There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus". No there isn't. Our hearts will condemn us if we are not willing to turn the cold hard parts back to God. Let's remember especially for those of us Christians who may go to support Chick-fil-a, to approach this in love, not only rightness. Jesus was our example, "He was led as a lamb led to the slaughter, yet spoke not a word." So shall we as believers at times face persecutions, being led as sheep to the slaughter. (Romans 8). The most hurtful of all, is when other believers are putting other believers on the cross for their lack of being able to overcome an areas in their lives. If we must speak truth, let it be "seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6) and a whole lot of love and concern for the PERSON. (1 John) Better yet, in walking through to get chicken sandwich, PRAY for GOD to put a guard on our mouths! "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!" Psalm 141:3. If we must look upon, look upon with "agape" love in our hearts! Move and speak as the Holy Spirit leads, and not out of emotion or flesh. Dear GOD, this is not easy! So difficult to do, believe me it wasn't long ago that my mouth got me into trouble!!! Like, yesterday! EVER DAY is a NEW DAY to start over! and NOTHING is possible without the power of Christ in and through our lives! Only way to KNOW the truth, is to get into that Bible in its entirety, and READ IT for ourselves. I have no right to say anything, accept by the authority of Christ Jesus in and through me. Even so, anytime I share, there is a heaping load of responsibility to walk it out in my OWN life FIRST! The enemy comes at me with force, but GOD is GREATER! Please let us be prayed up before going to do something like stand for Chick-fil-a's rights, or anything thing else. We can do this business (and all businesses) well by supporting them every day, not only on specific days. Our economy NEEDS the boost! "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) Let's overcome evil with good, not by being evil in our hearts or by our words and actions (which like I said, I'm guilty as charged for falling short) I'm sharing this so carefully....for myself FIRST and to encourage others to walk in truth AND grace. All of my righteousness is as filthy rags without being bathed in the blood of Jesus! My niece Kaylen, spoke one of the most precious things to me. "We are in the arms of God, we've just got to embrace HIS hug." How profound...

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