Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Live in the Yeses (Yes's?...Yes(s)?..never mind)

Occasionally I met people who are all about their standards. "We don't do _______."  "We don't ________________." It doesn't matter what it is, they probably don't do it! And they are probably going to tell you all about it too. I run far, far away when I see those people. Or at least hide behind something. Usually there's a kid hanging out and they see me anyway. 

You try hiding with two kids, a purse, and a diaper bag. That's like four people by squeeze mouse standards. Or sardines, as I learned it's called in most places. Anywho back to the story. 

Standards are important. Wanna know what's not important? Letting everybody know what your standards are. You don't have to announce them; people are smart enough to figure them out by watching your life. Sure there are some things I don't do. There are some things you don't do. Everybody has things they don't do. Why live there? Know why you don't and then focus on what you DO. Make a big deal of what you love instead of bashing what you hate. I could be so focused on what I don't do that I miss out on doing all the things that I do.

 (Did that make sense? Read it again. Then just pretend.)

Nobody is attracted to a life of rules. No one is attracted to a Christianity of rules. Although it might be easier to have a checklist of "I don't do these" to qualify good Christians. Yes, God has standards and guidelines. He's not a suggestion God. But God gives us far more to DO than to NOT DO.
  • We are to love. It's not that we "don't hate."
  • We are to serve. It's not that we "don't seek to be served."
  • We are to share the Gospel. We aren't asked to spend time pointing out all the problems with other religions. Not that there's not a place for that. But I want to be more concerned with telling someone about Jesus than telling them why Islam is wrong and never telling them about Jesus.
  • We are to honor our bodies as God's temple. It's not that we "don't drink, smoke, or chew."
And it works beautifully. If I'm busy loving, guess what? I'm not hating. If I'm busy serving, then I'm not focusing on what others can do for me. And for that matter, it's that I wear skirts. It's not that I don't wear pants. But that's an entirely different post. (And I don't care what you wear. Really.)

I want to show my children a life of joy serving Christ. Yes, they will learn our standards but I want them to know there is far more to the Christian life! I want them to hear, "Yes, we love those people because Jesus loved them!" "Yes, we help those people because Jesus said to help them." "Yes, we take care of our bodies because it's the only one we have. Because we represent Christ. Because it's God's temple." 

Obviously with my children it's a little different. We will teach them that alcohol is bad; that immorality is bad, etc, etc. But that's not what I want other people to remember about me! Jesus did condemn the Pharisees. Jesus did clean out the temple. But that's not what most people knew about Jesus. They knew He healed. They knew He loved and cared. They knew He didn't care if you were a known sinner or a religious leader He wanted you to come to God.  He had the perfect balance between the two sides because He was God. Also it was His job to point out sin in other's lives. That's rarely my job.

I want people I meet to know that I want them to know God. That I would rather tell them what Jesus can do for them than judge them because they live with their boyfriend or drink alcohol or smoke or have tattoos.  If they will meet Jesus He can change their outside to what He wants it to be. But cleaning up the outside won't do a thing for a person when they stand before Christ one day.  What really matters is the heart.

Looking at the DO side brings me joy. Focusing on the DON'T side often leaves me feeling defeated. Which would attract you most to Christ?

(And please, this is not a call to dismiss standards; none of ours have changed. There is balance to everything. But my standards are for me and our family. I'm talking here about relating to other people. There is definitely a place for proclaiming the truth about sin, but it is rarely when meeting someone at Toddler Time or the grocery store or the doctor's office.)

1 comment:

  1. I like the emphasis on Yes & Do. Very true.