12.02.2008

Another thought on being intentional

When I mentioned previously that Craig and I are trying to be intentional about how we live our lives, I meant just that - we need to be intentional about our lives, not yours. Now, I'm sure none of you have the problem of being overly concerned with others' behavior but that was is something I have to be really careful about. You see, I am a black-and-white kinda gal with a tendency toward Pharisee-like behavior. And once I have studied a topic enough to learn where God is calling me, I naturally tend to think everyone else who hasn't come to the exact same conclusion is wrong. Isn't that horrid?

I'll admit it, sometimes Craig and I have decided to go in a direction that I would have originally thought was "weird." Yet, when we sit down and look at our options and what the Bible has to say, it becomes obvious what our stance needs to be, even if most of the other people we know, including other Christians, don't "get it." But in the end, as we have formed new habits and gotten confident in our beliefs, I do feel blessed that God has revealed His truth to us. But if I'm not careful that confidence can turn into arrogance - like my way is the only way.

Now in some areas it is easy to see how the same principle can be followed through different behavior. As Christians, our main goal at Christmastime, or anytime for that matter, should be glorifying God. If Craig and I choose to limit our gift giving to only stockings or only stockings and one present as one way of helping God, not stuff, be the center of our celebration, that doesn't mean we think you are evil sinners if you set your present limit at 3 per kid.

In others areas, it isn't so clear. Like birth control. ( I know this is a really personal example but Craig thought I was being too vague). We Christians have to be intentional about not letting the world's view of human life and children (nothing special, expensive, world resource wasters) overshadow God's view of life/children (sacred, blessings). Our actions have to reflect God's view. But while some may choose to show that by allowing children to come as frequently as possible, others may choose nfp and maybe others have examined hormonal birth control and are okay with that. I don't like hormonal birth control for a variety of reasons, but neither do I think that if you have intentionally chosen to go with that, you are necessarily sinning (just as I don't think if you are practicing nfp, you are necessarily reflecting God's values.) But if you are just going along with it as I originally did, because it was what "everyone does", maybe you should think about why and how God wants you to reflect His values. Just be intentional in your actions.

I don't want you to misunderstand what I am saying, I do think God has truths that aren't negotiable. (To complete the example above - if I knew a Christian that was going to get an abortion, I would feel compelled to go to them in love and show them that sin. There is only one instance in which I think someone could be reflecting Christ's principle and get an abortion.)

The idea is that we also need to understand that the way certain truths are played out in different households varies. But just because the way certain people choose to intentionally glorify God varies doesn't mean that you can just go along without being intentional. In Romans 14, Paul is talking about not judging other believers and how some things, what he terms "disputable matters" are left up to your conscience, when he adds

Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5b

So on some things maybe it doesn't matter what opinion you come to, but you had better come up with one (that you believe glorified God). God doesn't seem to like wishy-washiness.

So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to vomit you out of my mouth*
Revelation 3:1.

In short (haha, short, like that ever happens with my posts) -


Do I think God enjoys it when we look to Him for guidance on how we live, even on the small issues? Yes.

Do I think God enjoys it when we argue and fight with other Christians about the small "disputable matters?" No.

So be intentional...with your own life.

* I think verses like these should be used as proof that God is a male.



1 comment:

June Cleaver said...

I'm glad you have had your "aha" moment early in life, it saves a lot of grief as you live your life; isn't it good to know there is only one holy spirit and you don't have to be that for others :)