Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Does giving up sometimes mean I am able to receive?

I lost my voice, like Laryngitis, only...

virtual instead of literal.

The noise inside my head has grown so loud and out of control these past few weeks that I'm convinced it's what caused my migraines. 

It's been a lot of issues really...
there are the usual hot button topics like abortion and gay marriage. The desire to have my kids grow up in a society that has way more moral value than the one we currently live in.

Then there are the more abstract ones...
teaching my daughter to appreciate who she is as she struggles to be like, and be liked by, everyone else.
Learning to be authentic instead of glazing over every question with, "I'm fine, really." It's a hard balance really.

I've had one of those friends (MORE than one) who just verbally dumps on me every time we're together. And while we all go through hard times, that person can just totally suck the life right out of me if all they ever do is talk about how tough life is.  

I don't wanna be that person.

I wanna be a happy, upbeat energetic person who makes other people happy.  Someone who can always see the silver lining without being totally oblivious to reality.

So how do I do that?  BE that?

On Sunday at church, we talked about what it means to be a citizen of the Gospel.  Have you ever considered that?
We all know what it means to be a Citizen of the United States, for example, but what does being a citizen of the Gospel mean?

Just as in our national citizenship, there are qualifications of our Heavenly Citizenship but there are also privileges, benefits we receive as part of the family of God.

Then there are obligations of being Citizens of the Gospel.
Here are the three we talked about specifically:

  • To stand firm in my faith and show Allegiance to Christ first and foremost.
  • Strive together, side by side with other believers, to share the Gospel
  • To pursue purity in all things 
That last one is the real kicker isn't it?

I mean, I would love to think that I am all these things, that I DO, all these things effortlessly, all the time.

But I don't.  I mean I try, but all my efforts are derailed by a little thing called every day life.

And there are days, many days, where I am simply too tired to stand, much less stand firm.
Too tired to strive, much less strive together with other believers in an attempt to share Jesus.  How do I share Jesus through all my mess?

Many days I am too tired to pursue my children much less pursue purity in all things!

So how does one succeed at this?

I can speak for myself, but I think most of us want to imitate Christ in His great love for others.

Do we also want to imitate Him in other things?
Because He is more than just Love... 

He is Holy; am I pursuing Holiness in His name?

He is Just; am I pursuing Justice in His name?

He is Merciful; am I showing mercy to others in His name?

It sounds good, right?
We talk about it at church and in Sunday School and I nod my head and add to the discussion.

It sounds great and I leave refreshed and renewed with a new-found desire to be more Christlike. Until...

Until what?
Until I'm faced with a tough situation?
Until I'm handed a golden opportunity to share God's love with someone who doesn't believe in Him?

Until I'm challenged, face-to-face in a discussion about gay marriage? Because it happens, and while I believe what I believe and I believe in sharing the truth in love, how will I handle it the next time it happens?

This post may sound like a convoluted jumble of thoughts to you, but I promise they are related.
It all comes to down to one principle; one act that I have known I needed for some time.

That one thing is total surrender to God. To be honest, I'm not even sure I can wrap my head around it...
what does it really mean, 


S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R ?

What would it mean if He asked me to give up something important to me?

Could I do it? Without a second thought? Without a complaint or dragging my feet?

Cause I'm not sure.

What I am sure of is this: the key to guiding my thoughts, my words, my relationships, my authenticity, my pursuit of Holiness, Justice, Purity, Truth, Mercy, and Grace?

It's all about surrender...

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