Casting Stones

April 15, 2013

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to just ramble a bit.
My prayer is not to offend anyone,
and I apologize in advance if I do.

I've been struggling with some things lately.
I'm trying to figure out exactly what Christianity looks like.
Or, rather, what it's supposed to look like.
And it's not even for me, really.
I am in a place where I know that I need to be in.
It's not where I am going to stay.
I'm growing.
My roots are digging deeper,
my tree is maturing,
and now bearing fruit.

But what about others?
Some that I love very much.
Maybe some that are acquaintances that are "in church".
Perhaps those who wave the Christian flag,
but, for one reason or another, are not "in church".
Those who say they are Christians,
But their lives look a little different than mine do.
Are they any less Christian
because their tree is not bearing the same fruit
as mine or others who also call themselves Christ followers?

What about a few years ago, when my branches were bare?
Was I less of a Christian then?

I am wrestling with feelings of judgement.
Not for me.
But for those who's fires may not be burning as hot as others.

Why do Christians look down upon those
who may drink a beer or two,
Or those who use curse words from time to time?
Are those sins worse than being unloving and unkind?
Is God less forgiving of those who
buy a lottery ticket once a week
than He is toward those who
gossip about others
just because they are faithful in attending church services once a week?

I'm not excusing sin.
I believe that when you fall in love with God,
You naturally make efforts to not grieve the Holy Spirit.
But, failure is part of humanity.
Sin is woven into our DNA.
It is what separates us from the Trinity.
And we are all guilty- Christian and heathen alike.

So, can you still be a Christian if you believe in your heart

  • that Jesus Christ was indeed physically born of a virgin 
  • hung on a cross as a sinless {hu}man to pay the price for your sins
  • rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven 
  • where He sits beside the Father

  • and still not read your Bible every day 
  • miss church more than you attend
  • curse like a sailor {with your friends, not your pastor}
  • have a few drinks a few times a week

  • yet you are generous to others with your time, talents, and money
  • you are forgiving even when it's not deserved because you are Forgiven
  • you truly are loving as Christ has instructed us to be
  • your prayer life is lived out in faith

Why do we judge others?
Didn't Jesus speak against calling out the speck in our brother's eye 
while we ignore the plank in our own? {Matthew 7:3}
Why is there some sin that is acceptable 
while other sin has been deemed detestable?

There's the argument that if you realize
exactly what Jesus did on the cross
then your heart won't let you continue
to give in to your sinful self.
And I get it.
I totally understand that.
But, for me, it wasn't always that way.
It took my heart a little longer to grasp all that my head knew.

When I first got saved
Had I known everything then that I know now,
I would have probably walked away and said,
"It's never gonna happen. This is too hard. I'll just pass."
I wasn't ready to give up a lot of my selfish pleasures back then.
But today, my prayer, my earnest prayer,
is that God would fill me to overflowing with HIMself!
I pray for God to cleanse me of everything that breaks His heart.
And even still, I am so far from being
a good example of a Christ follower.

Likewise, thinking back to when I first met my husband,
I realize that if, during our courting,
life would have thrown some of the things at us
that it would during our marriage years later,
I would have walked away and never looked back.
It took a long time for my love for him
to mature into what it is today.
I'm not saying that I wasn't serious about our relationship.
I am certainly not saying that I did not love him at all.
It's just that time and experience
creates trust and builds a relationship.

I cannot change anyone else.
I can write a blog and hopefully, if it applies to you,
you will feel the conviction in your heart.
I can make every effort to quit judging others.
I can realize that it's not my job
to tell you what you should and should not do.
{I believe that the Holy Spirit will convict you and plant
a seed of uneasiness as you grow and mature as a Christian.}
It is my job, however, as a Christ follower
to love you~ like Jesus does.
Jesus acknowledged sin,
but instead of being rude and arrogant,
He showed the way to freedom.
Being loved by Jesus feels good-
In spite of your sin.

You don't have to do anything to be loved.
God loves you simply because you exist.
If that's enough for Him, shouldn't it be enough for me?

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2

"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1John 4:8

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8


Conversation With Aubree

April 3, 2013

Today I'd like to share just a glimpse into my world.