On the first Sunday of every month, our church has 'First Sunday Fellowships.' It's a time when we gather together at the home of someone in the church. Everyone brings some sort of sack and for 2 hours we just fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This month, the first Sunday fell on New Year's Day so we did our fellowship gathering this past week. As a HUGE football fan, I will admit I did more watching of the game than fellowshipping. (*smiles*) That is until a certain friend came over and we watched together and chatted. As we laid on the floor, we had a wonderful conversation. On Monday, I received an email from her. The email started out like this: "You know I'm not a blogger. I'm not consistent enough to do the same thing every day. But IF I were, I would write this:" With her permission, I have included the bulk of her email here. It is what got to both of us as we talked and shared our hearts with each other.
I was moved by a conversation with a dear friend the other night. While discussing people and events at our church, I realized just how lazy we have become. At what point will Christians start caring about their relationships enough to "get all up in someone's business?" When was the last time you went to a friend and said "Are you positive, without a doubt, that the TV show you're watching gives glory to God?" I look back at our church over the last few years and I can name several couples who are no longer attending any church and most have been divorced. Some have returned to a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol. These wonderful Christian couples...lovers of God...what happened to them? You'd be hard pressed to convince me that everything possible was done to save those relationships. Because their issues didn't start at divorce. It started with one person being disappointed in another...a little blaming...a little selfishness. And yet, did any one step in to say "I know things are tough for you right now. What can I do to help?" Did anyone go to and say, "I know it's hard, but try putting your husband/wife first. Put the other person first in just one small thing. Let him/her have what HE/SHE wants for dinner. Let HIM/HER choose the movie." I promise you, God will honor that sacrifice!
Of the several beautiful little babies born into our church family this last year half were conceived outside of marriage to Christian parents. Why didn't someone say...."Hey, you guys seem to be getting very close...are you considering getting married? Have you given any thought to your emotional commitment?" Maybe someone did. Maybe they didn't listen.
Who is going to say to that man who has begun to follow the language, etc. of his co-workers, "Let God be in control of who you are at work. When you honor Him with your words, you'll find that you don't need to swear in order to command respect. You'll find that when you do what is right in God's eyes, He'll put you in the favor of those who work with you."
For that matter, when will we:
Stop going through the drive thru when we're alone just to get comfort from the wrong source?
Stop watching TV shows that are full of ANTI-Biblical values?
Stop using the excuse that "you can't watch anything that doesn't have SOME of that anymore."? OK, so don't watch it at all.
Stop reading magazines that include soft porn?
Stop saying negative things about the people we call our friends?
Start praying specifically for someone that we love, for their behavior and for their attitude?
Start accepting someone else's encouragement for US (ME) to make a change?
Start listening to Godly counsel instead of talk shows and co-workers?
Start calling your friends and family members and asking them if they had any time with God today?
Start letting people IN to our lives; so that they can help US with the same things?
Start trusting God to provide for our families, no matter what the newspaper says?
Start loving each other enough to not care about what is inconvenient, difficult, or politically savvy?
I know that it's a two-way street. Healthy relationships always are. So I expect you to get in my business. Call me on what you see in my life that needs a chip from God's chisel. Should you catch me acting selfishly toward my family? Let me know. If you get in my car and find the radio on a station that doesn't glorify God? Tell me to change it. And remind me why I should. Did you hear me say something that sounds like gossip? Tell me to knock it off. I'm not just looking around at other people. I do see needs in other people, but this is an invitation to get right into the heart of my life. I need someone to dare ME to change. (Don't you?) You know I'll rise to the occasion; that's the Spirit of God in me that says I WILL live for Christ 100%. And given the chance, I'll do everything possible to take you with me.
Revelation 3:16 tells us "So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Have you ever taken a drink of milk expecting it to be ice cold only to find out that it is room temperature? I can't imagine anyone thinking that lukewarm milk is yummy. If milk isn't ICE COLD or HOT for hot chocolate, then it is just gross. That's how God sees us...if we aren't ON FIRE for Him, we aren't pleasing to Him. I, for one, can't stand the taste of lukewarm milk...and as much as I don't like that taste, I certainly don't want to be that taste in God's mouth!!!
So, I invite you, any of my friends, to 'get all up in my business' when I'm not behaving in a way that is pleasing to God. That is, so long as you do it in Christian love and not in a demeaning or hurtful way. I may get angry with you. I may cry. I may not talk to you for a while. But I will make it all right with God and then I will make it right with you.
Take a long look at yourself...are you doing everything you can to be HOT for God? Are your friends and family? Do you need to 'get all up in someone's business?' Just remember to do it for the right reasons. I pray that my conversation with my friend has helped you in some way. God bless.
Walking the walk & Talking the talk,