There’s a question that has been bouncing around the Internet for a few years….
If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
This question, in my mind, is not meant to be a political statement about what may be happening in other parts of the world. To me, it is more a question that should make the reader ponder their own spiritual walk.
So, I am asking myself the question…. Is there enough evidence to convict me? Is it clear to anyone who knows me… and even those who don’t know me that I am a Christian by the life I lead. Do my actions, reactions, impressions, thoughts, ideas, moods, opinions, beliefs, viewpoints and attitude reflect Heaven’s Priorities?
I will answer that honestly. No, not always. There are times that I have wanted to rip Michael apart and give him a sharp piece of my mind for some seriously insignificant supposed infraction – this of course can, and has happened as we’re pulling into the parking lot of the Church on Sunday morning.
I don’t like that I can get like that. It hurts my heart that it is so easy for me to go from 0 – 1000 in a split second. So what is it that I have allowed to come into my mind? What part of the “world” has come in and hi-jacked my peace? I don’t know for sure.
For many months, we’ve been on this run-away train of craziness and non-stop busy while tending to Michael’s brother and his terminal illness. The flurry of doctor appointments, surgical procedures, hospitalizations, family drama and finally hospice care that have taken place since August has been overwhelming and exhausting. With little time available, and even less energy or ability to focus at the end of the day… my desire to spend any time in the Word or in prayer was more that severely lacking. No, lacking is not the right word. For six solid months, it was non-existent. Other than the few hours spent on Sunday mornings, there was nothing in my life… I was not being refilled.
A month has passed since my brother-in-law had his home going. It has taken me that long to “get back to real life”. Though the family drama continues – (even as I type this post) – the physical and emotional exhaustion as well as my own personal illness has kept me completely out of sorts. I am pushing through and beginning to again treasure the quietness and alone time.
Today I have the unique opportunity to be alone for most of the day. I began my day with a devotional that spoke to me of God’s peace. “The external world is always in flux – under the curse of death and decay. But there is a gold mine of Peace deep within you, waiting to be tapped. Take time to delve into the recesses of My residing Presence. I want you to live increasingly from your real Center, where My Love has an external grip on you.” (Jesus Calling – Sarah Young – Pg. 53)
The associated scripture for this devotion lead me to Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart”. This was such an amazing reminder of what has been missing in me for some time now – Peace.
So I poured myself another cup of coffee and decided to spend the morning – now most of the day – breaking open the Word – specifically Colossians 3:1-17.
God is so faithful. Today He led me to what I needed most to hear. His Word spoke to me about putting Heaven’s priorities into daily practice, to set my mind on the things above and look at life from His perspective and to seek what He desires – not from the world’s perspective or the world’s desires. He reminded me to again rid myself of my old life and to again put on the new way of life that was given to me by Christ and is guided by the Holy Spirit.
He gently reminded me that there are attitudes and actions that I need to remove from my life – anger, rage, malice, slander, language, lying. He strongly reminded in verse 10 that since I have taken off my old self with its practices that I have to put on the new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator.
He reminded me to let His love guide my life, to let the Peace of Christ rule in my heart, to always be thankful, to keep His Word in me at ALL times. And here is the most important of what I learned today… Live as Christ’s representative. Something that has been sorely lacking in my life for so many months.
So the question here is not just is there enough evidence to convict me of being a Christian. The question now becomes: Am I living as Christ’s Representative? If not, why not? Do I even know what that requires? And finally… What changes do I need to make in my life in order to honor Christ?
This day has ended, as has this post. There is much to be learned and understood. But for now, I will leave you with this thought…
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12 – 14 (emphasis mine)
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