Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Let's Be Real

Our introduction to SHINE states, “This is a ministry for real women. This is a place for you to be whoever you are in the moment, perfect or not.” So, I have decided to just be real. I’m going to be me… right now, in this moment, and it is definitely NOT perfect!

Opening up my life to this point scares me half to death. I could talk myself out easily debating how not only I may be viewed, must my methods to ministry as well. SO WHAT! God has called me to be real, and that is what I am going to be! I by no means want to offend anyone, step on anyone’s toes, or hinder anyone’s spiritual growth. My goal is to be real, open, honest, and sincere. My goal is to live life striving for the best and letting God shine through the areas where I screw up.

We all screw up. We all have areas where we are weak. We all do things that other Christians may or may not agree with. We are each individuals of God’s creation; and thankfully, He is not a boring creator!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now the next part of what I am going to say is a bit harder. I have written three paragraphs and trashed them all because I am just having a hard time knowing how to put it. What I want to say is, “We all want to impress those around us to some extent.” Some do it more than others. Some will claim it is because they don’t want to offend. But, ultimately, we all seek a bit of fellow approval. So at the risk of losing approval… here I go…

As I was sitting in the bed, having my journaling time, drinking a Smirnoff, (YES… I said it!) I was praying about what to write in today’s blog. No, I wasn’t convicted about the drink of choice. There I go. I have just deleted three sentences of defense. That is between God and I, and I know where I stand.

Anyway, as I sat in my bed, a friend popped up online and asked if it would be ok to call. I could tell from the urgency that this was important. My friend needed someone. (We will assume it is a female just to make references easier.) She called and proceeded to tell me how she has been struggling with drinking. IMAGINE THAT… drinking! It had become an extreme issue for her because it was taking over her life.

We discussed all the stresses she was under. She totally has faced more sorrow in the past year than one person should have to face in a life time. She was obviously depressed, mad at herself, and weak. There was NO way I knew what she was really dealing with. But, I listened, and I shared my weaknesses with her. She was so ashamed of her problem, but just didn’t seem to know how to get the strength to overcome.

How many of us deal with that? You see, drinking may be your obsession and not mine. I may be able to have a drink once every six months and you may depend on it to make it through another stressful day. You may be able to chat to friends online all night long, but if I start chatting online, Satan quickly leads me to a shameful life of sexual immorality. Each of us has our area of weakness.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Am I promoting sin? Weakness? Drinking? Sexual Immortality? BY NO MEANS!!! What I am saying is that God knows our weaknesses. He knows how we were formed. He loves us despite our weaknesses. Don’t let your weakness keep you hidden. Don’t let the shame keep you from shining for Him.

Matthew 5 is well known by many Christians as the Beatitudes. I want you to read the entire chapter, but listen especially to this:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. (Hmm… that sounds like struggling with sin) With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You’re blessed when you feel like you have lost what is most dear to you. (Could that be your reputation?) Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are (weaknesses and all) - no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

Do you see what Jesus is saying here? We are blessed when we are willing to let HIM SHINE through us, imperfections and all. He wants to use us. Yes, He wants to change us; make us better; create in us a new likeness of Him. But… IN OUR WEAKNESS HE IS MADE STRONG! The thing to remember is that we still always need to constantly be striving for better in our lives so that we don’t become stagnate or lukewarm.

We ended our conversation in prayer and I am trusting God to do a work of encouragement in her life. Not to mention… God gave me a gentle reminder. I too need to be careful. There are many things that are innocent in the beginning and Satan can quickly turn them into traps to keep us from God’s full blessings in our life. I challenge you to share your weakness with someone today. Just as my friend and I laughed over my friend’s fear to tell me she had a drinking problem as I was taking a sip myself… God uses those kinds of things to let us touch others for Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment