I sometimes really take a look at my life and ask myself "do I reflect Jesus well?" Most times my answer is no. I have a lot of heart issues I need to work at. Or more so, be willing to allow Christ to heal.
In addition to that, I also find the distraction of Social Media on all levels to be a major distraction. We trade a call on the phone with a glance at a post. We trade physical connection with (((cyber hugs))). We trade 4 hours of our day scrolling through posts for connection. We justify it because our lives are so busy, we can still feel attached in some small way to see pictures of loved ones so we can keep up with the fast track of life.
Further, we idolize our positions in work, and we conform to the world in which we are placed. Instead of taking a bold stance and being vessels of Christ, we take the world stance. We laugh at inappropriate joking, we comment about the shortcomings of others, we utter frustration when someone has done us wrong. Yes, all a part of who we are, but not a part of who we should become.
I took sometime the last couple weeks to pay attention to how many times outside of church that someone brought the gospel to me, either in thought, action or deed. I can't count the number on one hand. I also paid attention to how many times I was bold enough to share the gospel, either in thought word and deed, and I'm not certain I can count the number on both hands... a little better, but probably not where I should be.
I think we can all let the excuse that "we are not adequate" penetrate our motives and somehow use it as a way to just live lives paralyzed in rocking chairs. I'm not opening your mail and preaching to you, I'm sharing my own heart which is vulnerable and open to correction. I say that because I'm certainly not a victim and I know that God is not waiting to send me to hell for my perceived inadequacies. I know he's equipped me with all I need to live a life complete in Him. I know that it is by CHOICE that I will seek Him deeper and overcome each trial I face, and I know that He promises never to leave or forsake me. I know also that His end goal for my life is to have me spend an eternity with Him, in a paradise far beyond my imagination and that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for me. Yet, I know it is by my own choices, as to where eternity will be spent. Am I saying that we get to heaven by works? No....far from it, we get to heaven by our dependence on Christ and our obedience to His Word and His Way, and that at anytime I can choose to throw up my hands and give all that up to live in the way of the world. Some days, it's a moment by moment struggle.
Through it all, I'm so very thankful to have taken the time to invest in God's word and remain teachable. I'm so very thankful that grace and mercy falls on a heart willing to be obedient to Christ, even when our flesh is sometimes over powering.
I'm reminded, through this process, of a passage in Revelation.
To the Church in Ephesus
2 “To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
I love that we don't have to sift through our own thoughts and emotions to know TRUTH. I love that when we start to justify our thoughts, deeds and actions, by our own experiences, and knowledge that we can put a holt to it to test it to the word of God. I love that when we start to create storms, tornadoes and bad weather in our atmosphere's, God speaks and calms the storm.