Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GratiTuesday- Faith Journeys

It’s been a bit since I visited this section of the blog.  Not because I haven’t been grateful, I am ever grateful, but because all of the things I am so grateful for have been consuming my time!  So, over the next few weeks as we enter the holiday season I can’t promise I’ll be diligent and blog every day like normal, but I’ll definitely do my best to post as often as possible.

Today I want to touch on how thankful I am for faith journeys.  Isn’t it special that God puts us each in different parts of our faith journeys at the same time so that, in the end we need each other?  It isn’t that He is punishing us, or abandoning us, but that He’s teaching us.  Sometimes it’s so difficult to get outside of our own mess to see the wonderful family we have in other Christians. 

Do we get hurt by our church family?  Of course we do.  We get hurt by our birth family, or our adopted family, or our chosen family too.  It doesn’t mean there isn’t love there.  Sometimes having the truth spoken in love to you by someone in your Christian family is hurtful…. but necessary.  It’s when we take the pieces of our lives, the different people, the different backgrounds, and *gasp* the different denominations and let them fit together like the beautiful puzzle God is creating in our lives that we get to see the true beauty of a life in Christ, and realize what others who don’t have that are missing out on. 

I have many people in my life who are not Christians.  I have some in my life who claim to be Christians, but they are either not walking in their faith, or it is so weak it is not really helping them.  I know some people look upon those outside our faith with judgment and disgust.  I do not.  I hate to say I feel sorry for them, because I don’t really feel sorry for them – this is a choice THEY are making after all – but I do wish better for them.  I wish for them to be touched by the love of God, not hurt by sinning Christians.  I wish for them to see the magic, not the misery.  I wish for them to experience the acceptance, not the judgment. 

It’s not that I think we as Christians shouldn’t call sin sin.  It’s that we need to acknowledge that WE as Christians are ALSO sinners, and that ultimately, GOD will judge us ALL.  And, for the record…..  From someone who is currently in an in depth study of Revelation…. most of the people in our lives who have wronged us, hurt us, are not Christians, etc have not done nearly enough to us for us to want God’s judgment upon them.  It’s nothing to squabble with. 

But here’s the thing.  God judges ALL sin.  Did you hear that?  God judges ALL sin.  Equally.  He loves us ALL.  Equally.  We chose to become part of His family by accepting Jesus as our savior, but that doesn’t mean that we are now without sin, nor are we allowed to sin.  It doesn’t make my sin any cleaner than yours.  You may be in an adulterous affair, and I may be practicing a bit of gluttony with the pan of brownies.  Both are sin.  There is no greater or lesser sin.  They are both sin and we both have to answer to God for our sins.

Anywho, I didn’t mean to go into that detail, but I guess that’s what God wanted me to say today, because these words just flew out of me.  I want to encourage you today to not feel like you have to have all together.  I want to encourage you to not feel like you have to be perfect.  I want to encourage you today that you are not the judge of others.  I want to encourage you today that other humans are not the judge of you.  Sure, you may suffer some consequences on earth for your actions, and sometimes, even forgiven sin has consequences, but ultimately who we answer to is our maker.

Give a kind smile to those around you and I hope today you are as grateful for our faith journeys as I am Smile

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