I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Is what's good for the goose really always what's good for the gander?

I am still working on a post about our recent trip...it's cooking...on the back burner, but not forgotten.

Currently, I have been thinking about why we do what we do. You know, the things that make our lives efficient, decisions we make, what we eat, how we school, etc. It's easy for me to find out something new and want to share it with everyone because I think it is so cool. Thinking about all of that brought me to something that I have struggled with for some time, several years in fact. There are so many theories out there and ways to do things. Now to preface this "could-be" touchy subject, I am not talking about things that don't line up with scripture or things that are clearly outlined in God's word. But I do believe that there are a lot of things that God eludes to that I believe he leaves open to interpretation on purpose. I believe it is an avenue for deepening our relationship with Him. If we had all of the answers, would we still go to Him?

Anyway, to the topic on my mind and heart. Here is my question. Why is it, that when some Christian people have something revealed to them, for them, that now, if everyone is not doing that same thing the same way that they are sinning? Let me give you an example. Say God has revealed to me that it is no longer ok for my family to drink soda. Now, does that mean everyone should quit drinking it? Should I now make sure that whenever we are in someone's home that we inform the host or hostess that we will not be partaking and why we believe it is wrong and that they should not be doing that either, and why? Of course not, that would be extremely rude to go into someone's home and behave that way. So why do we act like it is ok to do that to other Christians when God shows us something? Why does it now become a mandate for all other Christians?

Arguably, soda is not the best choice for us for so many reasons. If God has asked my family not to drink it, then I believe we need to look past the obvious and see why. Maybe our dependence on it has become an idol, maybe a drain on our finances or possibly indicative of an overall lifestyle that is not healthy. God does want the best for us, but if I have a soda, don't go to Sunday service or am only involved in one ministry does it mean I am sinning if He has called you to more or something different? I don't think so. God is interested in our hearts. Our hearts. Not our actions, but why we are acting thus and so. My heart is different than everyone else's. What He asks of me may not be what He asks of you. What is sinning for me may not be for you. Again, I will say that there are specific things outlined in the Bible that are very clearly sinning. I am not referring to those things. I am referring to what we eat, where we live, what we buy, what we drive, how we school, what we do with our free time, what church we go to, whether or not we go to VBS or bible study, which parenting philosphy we subscribe to. You get the picture. I believe that He is interested in why we do what we do more than what we actually do.

If you are reading this today, here is my heart, for what it's worth. We need to be careful that we do not place the expectations that we believe God has for us, onto the shoulders of others. He may have a complete different set of expectations or requirements for someone else. I think sharing what God has revealed to us with others is great, can be encouraging, challenging in a good way and is important for our relationship with others. I think sharing why soda can be bad for you or how things are changing for the negative in the public school system is ok.

What I believe gets forgotten is this -

I will not be standing on anyone's behalf before Him on the day of judgement, nor will anyone be standing on my behalf. I cannot answer for anyone else's choices and no one can answer for mine. Nor do I think anyone would want to.

Each of us will stand before Him on that day and can only answer for ourselves. Each of us has our own journey that we are on. My hope is that we would all work to encourage one another in what God has uniquely called each of us to do. That we would not be focused on advancing our own agenda, but rather, the Kingdom of God and His purposes.


Disclaimer - These are a lot of jumbled thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for awhile. The above is an excerise in me organizing my thoughts and processing any judgements that I may have on others as well as the judgement I feel from others. It is not a rant and not intended to target anyone specifically but rather a self examination. Thank you for your patience. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. As you were...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good word, Angie. I agree! Been there (on both ends I admit). God's so patient with us isn't He?
~Kelli

Lori in KY said...

Angie,

Wonderful job articulating what you called jumbled thoughts. I totally agree with you!

Making things "Real". said...

I agree with a lot of what you said, but I do think that we as God's children have all the same requirements but our lives are so different we have different times that he calls us to there importance in our lives.