Thursday, September 14, 2017
My mind has wrestled itself now for quite some time on one specific issue. I can't completely grasp the concepts surrounding it so I am failing at understanding it. So let's dive in.
Two of my favorite theologians are A.W. Tozer and J.C. Ryle. They would be deemed "conservative" Christians in today's terminology. I liken them more to unashamedly Biblically based. They both speak the truth of the Bible without mincing words. Very direct. Very truthful. Very convicting. Very Biblical. (Some say Facebook holds little value or purpose but I look forward to reading their quotes every morning and I end up 'liking' about 95% of them. If you wish to follow them as well, here are the links: https://www.facebook.com/AWTozeramanofGod/ and https://www.facebook.com/JCRyleQuotes/.)
A majority of the quotes have to do with: being a true follower of Jesus, it is a very narrow road, the truth of the Bible will separate and divide, you need to stand up for God's truths even if it's not popular or loved ones ridicule, etc. These wise words reinforce that it will be a lone journey between you and God of living your life in right standing according to His Word. It is refreshing to hear those reminders. I wrote someone a letter awhile ago and stated that never in my journey through this life would I have imagined that the hardest stances I would have to take would be against those I was closest to. I had assumed and expected we were believing the same truths of the Bible, living those out, living life differently than the world, and living with similar motives.
I was wrong, and that was a hard lesson to learn. I rather enjoyed my naivete of choice to not clearly see the errors and sins surrounding me (both in my own life and in those around me).
I knew I sinned, but I didn't realize I was wretched to the core. That my thoughts were so corrupt, that I even had evil intentions. It took for my pride to be stripped away before the ugliness of sin in my life was made known to me.
Now, I know I sin, I know my sins. I'm aware of a lot of them thanks be to the Holy Spirit residing in me and cleansing me daily. And I'm praying that more and more they are revealed for the ugly vileness that they are. I repent of what I know and don't, but overall for how wretched I am. I am nothing without Christ. And if I'm not actively moving away from sin and toward God, then I am not living a repentant life.
But that isn't the case for all who attend church. We started making stands to put up protective barriers around ourselves, our marriage, and our children, yet we were attacked for that. The slander that has been relayed has been hurtful and disheartening, especially during a period of time when the Holy Spirit was preparing a dwelling place in our hearts and cleansing us from the inside out. It was emotionally exhausting, which then made it incredibly disheartening to hear words, attacks, angry looks, passive aggressive facebook posts, whispered comments... the attacks kept coming from those who knew not the fullness of the situation.
We have been advised by the Bible to let our light shine. Truly wise people know there are two sides to every story and to not make a judgment call based on only one side. But it seems majority opinion floats on the boat of which side they have heard from first. A judge would be flogged and ridiculed if that was how they led their courtroom. So our character should shine through and people should be able to discern if something they are hearing about us doesn't jive with what they know to be true about us.
And that is where my struggle lies. I struggle with where that all falls into place when dealing with this in this life, on the one hand I am okay with the negativity now surrounding my name, because Jesus said this walk would not be easy but on the other hand, it's still hard... and how do you also be a light? If this walk is supposed to be so narrow, then how can it also be that you will be such a light for others if what is being said about you is not true? How can you live as a light while your name is being torn to pieces by those who claim to love you?
I remain conflicted, but eager to learn so I pray for continued unity with my husband, peace, wisdom and direction.