We survived the first week back to school. I survived a week of virtual learning with a first grader. By Friday afternoon, I didn’t have two brain cells left to rub together, but I survived. Even after a very much needed, fun family day yesterday, I’m still kind of brain dead, and I’ve rethought posting this about a thousand times. But I feel like it needs to be said so here goes.
There is so much going on in our world . . . in our country. So much division. So much tension. So much destruction. So much heartbreak. It’s hard to keep your head on straight, and think clearly in the midst of all it. It’s hard not to let your mouth get ahead of your brain . . . and in some cases it’s hard not to let your mouth get ahead of the Holy Spirit.
One of my new(ish) life rules is to stay out of politics on social media and on here. I used to dive deeply into politics. I was proud to tow a party line, and I didn’t care who knew it. I’ve shifted a bit on that. Not on my beliefs (most definitely not on my beliefs, just in case anyone is wondering), but on how I discuss things. I don’t care to do “politics” anymore because quite frankly, I don’t love any of our politicians (yep, I said it), and I don’t see any of them as our “savior” (no man is perfect, and God can use any person to do His will, but again, no man will fill the role of savior for me). But what has become more solidified over the past ten years are my beliefs, based not on a party platform, which will ebb and flow and change over time, but based on the Bible. When it comes to the Bible, I cannot and will not compromise. And that doesn’t just fuel how I vote (and sometimes, I do have to hold my nose and go with choice that most closely matches my own beliefs), but how I want to live my life.
I also think that sometimes, we have to stand up and make our beliefs clear even if that means that some people won’t like them. Even if that means that some people will walk away, unfriend, and unfollow . . . so I’m going to take a minute to outline my uncompromising beliefs below. And none of these are up for debate. None of these are political for me, and generally speaking, people from both sides of the aisle get upset with what I have to say regarding politics and beliefs because I’m fun like that. But I want to be very clear where I stand based on the Bible.
Starting point because this is why I think how I think and believe how I believe. I believe in the Bible cover to cover. I believe that it is literal and God inspired and God breathed . . . both the harder parts and the easier parts to accept. And I cannot and will not compromise on that. These aren’t opinions to me. These are non-negotiables in my world.
And because of said “starting point”, I believe Jesus is the only way to God. Period.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” John 14:6.
I believe that Jesus loves everyone deeply and passionately and compassionately and completely, unconditionally. I believe that He sees people for who He created them to be and not who they are right now . . . I’m so thankful for that because I’m far from perfect.
I believe in the sanctity of life . . . I don’t just mean I’m anti-abortion. I am pro-life. I am pro-adoption. I am pro-helping and supporting and giving resources to parents that want to raise their children. And there are a million ways to support these causes, but screaming hellfire and brimstone to those who are making choices with which we don’t agree isn’t one of them.
I am pro-marriage . . . traditional marriage . . . between one man and one woman . . . for life. I believe in this because the Bible is clear on how God created us to live. I believe that God knows what’s best for us and loves us deeply. I believe there is forgiveness and grace and redemption for everyone at the foot of the cross. I believe that no matter what is in your past, God is here to redeem you. And I believe that we can live and walk out what we believe while still loving others deeply no matter where they are in life. Because again . . . hellfire and brimstone and pounding Jesus into people really doesn’t do the trick. (And as I’ve said before, there are times when you need to walk away from a marriage, after a lot of prayer and seeking God, because the marriage vows have been broken and cannot be repaired whether that be through emotional and/or physical abuse and manipulation, continued unrepentance and infidelity on the part of a spouse, abandonment . . . please seek help if you’re in this type of marriage.)
I believe that God created all people equal, and I believe that He created a myriad of beautiful skin colors (and hair colors and eye colors . . . ) because He is the God of beauty and creativity. I do believe we need to look at our hearts and our motives and our attitudes toward others, and be one million percent certain that there isn’t even the hint of racism or prejudice there. There is nothing wrong with evaluating deep seated thought patterns that likely need to change. Rather than trying to deny or justify or argue, take it to Jesus. Ask Him to transform you because I promise, it’s not from Him.
I believe the church, Christians that profess to follow Jesus, need to look deeply at their own hearts. Because if we’re harboring hatred, unforgiveness, ugliness, bitterness, and anger . . . if we’re feeding on and perpetuating those things, then not only are we not a witness for Christ, but we are not following the Bible. We’re not walking out His word. We tend to give weight to sins here on earth. And while I’ll completely own that there are sins that are heinous and horrible and have larger, more destructive, consequences that hurt others deeply, I’ll also say, that allowing any of the things I listed above to simmer, unchecked, just below the surface, causes huge damage to ourselves and others as well. Maybe not the obvious, in your face kind of damage that we can call out, but if my actions, words, and behaviors push others from Jesus . . . and I’m not talking about speaking biblical truth set out by God here . . . then I’m doing more damage to the Kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of darkness.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesian 4:30-31
So that got deep real fast. And I’m sure there are plenty of people that will take issue with at least one thing, likely a number of things, I said here. The bottom line is, I love you no matter what. I love you if we disagree. I love you if you hate me. I love you if you unfollow, unlike, unfriend me. But even more importantly is the fact that Jesus loves you. More than you know. He loved you enough to die for you. He loves you enough to transform and redeem you (and me). And no matter what happens today, tomorrow, six months, or sixty years from now, you can count on that.
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