The more this lesson of the copper pipe sinks in, the more peace I find. I’m so focused now on what’s in the present. I’m so aware of what’s going on at any given moment. I’m so mindful of my own feelings and reactions.
I might be driving down the road and a guy cuts me off and gives me the finger. It makes me so mad! I realize how much I want to snap on that guy. But I don’t. Now I realize how irritable I am before I snap at someone.
And you know that in the past, I have snapped on that guy. I’ve been angry. I’ve been frustrated. I have cussed somebody out. And yes, I have flipped somebody off. I’ve done all those things. As a believer!
And I still feel anger or frustration. I’m just getting a lot better about not acting on it. That’s because I have the ability to calm down. Now I can head off the anger and frustration by accessing the hot water.
You always run into that believer who says, “Well, before I met Jesus I did those things.” He’ll tell you, “Yeah, before I met Jesus, man, I swore all the time. Before I met Jesus I was drinking and smoking. Before I met Jesus I was lusting.”
I always want to say, “Oh, really? I don’t smoke, but I still drink. And I still lust. And I was angry just this morning. And you know what? I have Jesus! So how come it’s so easy for you? That kind of stinks!”
Obviously I don’t believe those guys. Those are people living in a fairy-tale world, where they try to look the part. They think, “I’m a Christian, so I’m supposed to say these things. I’m a Christian, so I’m supposed to have a perfect marriage.”
But you’re not. Seriously! You’re not! If you never sin and your marriage is perfect, then what do you need Jesus for?
When we fear not looking the part of the good Christian, we judge. We try to make ourselves look better by judging the motives of others. We try so hard to play the part of “sinners that are saved,” that we forget who we truly are, “saints that sin.”
We get worried about the people we hang out with. Some people are afraid to let their kids hang out with people that are not Christian. They are afraid to let their kids hang out with kids that are not believers because non-Christian kids may not see things the same way. They might teach Christian kids the wrong stuff.
It’s not for me to say how other parents should raise their kids. But here’s my take on it. Maybe your kids will teach them things. Maybe your kid’s non-Christian friends will go home and their parents will see them love differently or act differently. Or maybe there won’t even be a difference in how the kids love or behave!
We’re so worried about who we hang out with because of influence. We’re so careful “lest we become like them.” But I think you have to keep an even keel. Whether you have believing friends or non-believing friends, you have people in your life that you have to witness to. You have people in your life that you have to be around. And you’ve got to be okay with it.
I think the people that are judgmental are the ones that fear the people who are outside the faith looking in. They fear them because they’re constantly judging them. And it’s no fun. It’s no fun to be around people like that.
I have a little more to say about fearful judgment. See you Saturday.