Hot Topics. Healthy Tension. A Humbled Spirit.
This past Sunday, Benjamin Bachman encouraged us, as a body of believers, to really love people - regardless. To try something new in the face of adversity or possible scrutiny.
As Christians, I think we too often walk into our churches with a curated case of tunnel-vision. We act on the idea that expectations need to be met, aesthetically and inwardly. A person needs to look like us in order to receive our love. So, when that’s our mindset, good intentions will come to a complete stop. This is actually the furthest behavioral pattern from God’s teachings to us. We are asked to obey Him. We are asked to treat others as we would want to be treated. We are asked to trust the Lord with our whole hearts and to not lean on our own understanding, but to acknowledge Him, and He will direct our paths. The essence of the Bible will forever be a guide for allowing and following the voice of the Holy Spirit…regardless of how uncomfortable it might make us.
Reality church is an eclectic place for eclectic people, where we celebrate people and are passionate about their heart and desire to choose God. Regardless of what their lifestyle, choices, or background have meant in the past.
So, what should our reaction be when we are faced with tension between ourselves and others? Tim Schoener shared with us how important those innate feelings are. Our reactions are a reflection of our hearts. Our self-esteem and posture should dwell on camaraderie and God’s grace, even in the presence of opposition. Healthy tension is taking the high road. We should look at varying opinions as an opportunity to learn. Healthy tension is growth and growth is uncomfortable because it is a process. We should ask questions, not judge. And who was a master at this? Yep. Jesus asked questions, and then more importantly, He listened. He helped people discern right from wrong. Let’s go back to the Bible basics.
I often try to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I think about what that unkind person is going through personally. Or what tragedy just occurred in their life to make them behave as they are. Hurt is real and that pain will linger as long as we allow it to. Clinging to pain is not growth. Holding a grudge will not guide us to transformation. So, we must look for God’s image in the eyes of the hurting and think about a smiling, loving, redeeming Lord who created that person, just like us. God doesn’t abandon His children. He does the opposite. He stays, He waits, and then He lifts us up out of our own brokenness.
Calvin gave us thought provoking imagery and encouragement of how Jesus was even humble in the eyes of His Father God. He shared about the value that can be found in serving God and His people from a heart of humility. Some people think we lack self-confidence when we are actually demonstrating selflessness. Humbling ourselves in God’s presence is the key to unlocking mercy and grace. I really agree with Calvin, and I think that humanity, in this exposed, lost world needs to see humble reactions in our home and church interactions. Humility is hard work. But it could also be a transformative truth for growth that spans generations and lifetimes.
So, if Gods acceptance has forever saved my life, why in a world of lies, am I fighting for unattainable acceptance from unsaved perspectives?
I love listening to my children’s very honest conversations. These young years of wonder are so special. Their perspective of the Bible is so real and so unfiltered. A child’s perspective of who God is can be a game changer because they’re hearing about Him and envisioning Him through a lens of perfect humility and perfect grace.
We teach them to share the good things. We teach them to say I’m sorry. We teach them to be kind. We tell them to let others go first and that it’s okay to be last. These actions are elementary but so profound and everlasting. Children are understanding the mission of servanthood, humility, and what sharing the gospel looks like.
A child’s deep pool prayers at bedtime are a divine example of this. It’s a window into our Lords heart when our children are praying for the world, for that one kid that hurt their feelings, and thanking God for another day. Those little big prayers straight from their little big hearts capture the hope that we all so fervently desire: that people will discover Jesus through us.
The heart of Reality church is…
-Focusing on the gospel.
-Growing spiritually over time.
-Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead our lives and convict us over time.
We have each been given opportunities galore. We have chance after chance to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s natural to share passions, successes, the weather with strangers, neighbors, coworkers, family, and friends. But I still can’t figure out why telling someone about God is so difficult. It’s a fear, but let’s overcome it.
What’s the storyline found in every book, tv show, or movie? Villain versus Superhero. But I firmly believe that we’re all superheroes in our narratives with the best superpower yet: the heart. God gave us these feelings so we can care about someone else more than ourselves. We share the globe with millions of people who need and are waiting to hear the gospel. I desire to not only cling to scriptural blessings for myself, but to seek out people who need that inner peace just like I did.
A savior was born… found in all of that glorious truth is an abundance of humility, mercy, servanthood, respect, and newness in faith.
Isn’t this too precious of a GIFT to keep to ourselves?