Faith is a journey, not a destination
Driving home this evening, I slowed to a 4-way stop. There is a little Lutheran church to the right which always has the most interesting comments on their sign. I find myself looking at it every time to see if they have changed it.
Today, I spent a lot of my time thinking through some recent events, and a lot of my energy was spent being angry towards and sad about someone who has recently come into my life. We can refer to them as Person A. We are not related, and we really do not even speak, but because of person A's relationship to people I care very deeply about, I find that their actions affect me on a surprising level.
I couldn't stop thinking all morning about how hateful Person A is. How bitter. How full of anger. This is someone who claims Christianity, but has a biting tongue, unkind words, and is filled with animosity. In my "righteous indignation" I wanted so desperately to protect those whom I love that Person A was hurting. I also wanted to lash out. To show Person A how wrong they were.
As the day progressed, it became brighter, and even though I was exhausted by the end of it, the cloud I was carrying in my mind had lifted for the most part. As I drove home and saw that sign however, I was struck with the realization that yes. That person may be bitter, yes they may be cruel, selfish and unhappy. But I just allowed myself to be angry, I just allowed myself to be completely consumed by them and unproductive. Who am I to think that I am in any way a "better" Christian? Bitterness is a scary thing. It takes root, grows strongly, quickly, and takes hold of your life. It shifts your focus, changes your attitude, and affects those around you. It is something to fear and something to aks God for help with.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you,
along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you
Faith is a journey, not a destination. That sign was a poignant reminder to me, that while some people's struggles may be more blatant than others, we are all still sinners. How many times do I fail daily in my walk with Christ?
Warning Warning: To all who may think on occasion (like myself) that you have "arrived".....you've probably just come to a grinding halt in your spiritual walk.
My Mom has taught me that there will always be someone out there who is a better singer than I am. So what can I do to stand out? Be a hard worker, be kind, be happy, be a joy to work with etc.....In order to get hired, you need to have something that catches people's interest, that sets you apart.
As Christians, we are to be set apart from the world. We are to be Loving. Patient. Kind. Joyful. There is always more that I can be working on. So persevere Dear Christian, and continue to grow through Christ who strnegthens you. Lets choose todday to live in the freedom He provides, and release any trace of bitterness or anger from our hearts.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you