Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hate to break it to you-I'm not perfect.

I Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible-but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible-but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Let's get a clear picture of what we are being told here. I am going to define the 2 words beneficial and constructive.

beneficial- advantageous, favorable, contributing to improvement, receive profit, advantage
constructive- leading to improvement, built, build value, make better, make more valuable, a change that adds value, to become better.
opposite of constructive- to wreck, to ruin, to tear down, demolish, do away with, kill

So when deciding on whether or not to do something, considering the effects on others helps us to discern because we can see where it might not matter to ourselves, but it could wreck or tear down someone else. We want to build value in others. With the lost, we want to help them make a change that adds value to their lives and be a witness to them.

Jeremy works at a store that services mechanics. Mechanics are crass and cuss a whole lot. (Generally speaking. If you are a mechanic and this does not describe you, I am sorry.) Jeremy works in this atmosphere. He is dependable, hard-working and helpful, both at work and after-hours to co-workers and customers. They know he is a strong Christian and yet he cusses at work sometimes. People at his work, whether co-workers or customers, will talk to Jeremy freely about their beliefs about God and their lives. I am amazed at what people are willing to share.

Jeremy works with another Christian. That man never cusses. But his co-workers view him as lazy, undependable and not completely forthcoming in what he says. He will call in to work sick and then they find out from someone else in town that he isn't sick, he is just doing something else. He cuts corners at work and shirks responsibility. He will stand around when other people need help. This man walks and acts right in every other aspect when he is at work yet he sours people on Christianity. I think people feel that he acts righteous in theory but doesn't carry that out consistently.

The two witnesses are different. Neither are perfect. It strikes me as strange that in most likelihood, most church-going people would have more offense at cussing than laziness. (For clarification, my husband does not cuss in church. He rarely cusses at home.) In the world, the lost do not feel that cussing is hypocritical, but resent the laziness.

I am not saying that cussing is good or beneficial to others. However, just being who you are as a Christian with people, faults and all, is important. You are just a person that has a relationship with God. That is salt and light.

This prompted me to ask some questions of myself. Do people perceive that I walk around thinking or acting as if I have no faults when I have glaring faults in their eyes that would bar me from being a witness? Do I seem "real" and sincere or do I come off like I ascribe to rules but ignore common courtesy? Can people relate to me- see my humanness but also godly character or just hollow God talk and abstinence from sullying myself, as if I were walking a few inches above everything else? What is beneficial or constructive to a non-Christian? What do we do that wrecks, ruins, kills or tears them down?

I am human. I messed up today. I had to repent today about how I treated someone. Luckily, they are a Christian but even though I might have felt the person was deserving of the treatment, I was tearing them down. I do not think that we should use our faults as a crutch and justify them saying, "Well, people can relate to me because I do this." I am just saying that being humble and transparent with non-Christians is important because like the cheesy bumper sticker says, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."


At 9:21 PM, Blogger jake said...

hey, I like your blog, but you should post a story taht is about life without all the christian cliche. I want to hear what a christian life is like without all of the "revelation" stuff.


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