I can be honest with my family. If you’re new in Christ, that makes you family. So let’s do this…
…Do you ever find yourself in a rat race to prove yourself to people? You older folks can testify to younger days when you did that, but us twenty-somethings aren’t quite there yet. And me personally, I’ve been in a battle I was never supposed to fight, trying to show who I am to people I thought counted. There’s a difference between hypocritically trying to show off a God you don’t love in private, and trying to redeem yourself from a past in which you didn’t do that. My problem, someone back me up here, has been trying to prove to people who I am now verses who I’ve been in the past.
And here’s where the brutal honesty comes in. There were plenty of times I wore my Jesus like a coat. I put him on at church, kept him on when it was cold, but as soon as the weather was nice or no one was looking, he was hung up in the closet. When it was cold again, or people were looking, trust and believe I was back in my holy coat. It felt warm and fuzzy. I liked it. Who doesn’t like warm and fuzzy?
It’s been a long time since I’ve had this mentality. But lately through a series of events, I’ve found myself sliding into those old ways. Not intentionally. I’ve sought God out more and more, but I caught myself trying to show to people I loved and cared for that the old me they were accustomed to was dead. No more bad habits, no more gloom, no more depression, no more whatever. And I justified it by saying I owed it to them. They want to see fruit? I’ll give ’em fruit! Holy Spirit convicted me big time of that.
I felt the gentle voice of Papa come over me. He took me to Scripture. “And when you fast, wash your face and keep your appearance…” “…Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing…” “…Your Father who sees all things in secret will reward you openly.” And then, I felt His voice, and it got more personal. He said, “Follow Me in secret.”
I could tell you about the projects and missions I’ve done lately. But what’s the point? To glorify myself? God forbid!! For that matter, I probably shouldn’t even mention that I’ve done anything at all. But I do, in strict hope that I can pass along the message and what I’ve learned. I say this in love, even if it comes out harshly… If you want man’s approval and praise, that’s all you’ll ever get. Have fun with that reward. It’s short lived and will leave you more empty and broken than when you started. I’m tired of it. And I hope you are too, if any of this is hitting home with you.
I grew up in a very broken home. And outward appearances were very important to my family. I watched as everyone would pull themselves together when company came over and act like things were wonderful, like nobody had been screaming just moments before. Or threats to run off the road and kill everyone in the car would subdue as soon as we would get to the parking lot of wherever we were going. Me, when nights before were just too horrible to cope with, I still had to go to school and act like nothing was wrong. (Please don’t offer me sympathy.) Anybody can act. We can even mimic the Holy Spirit when we want to. Think about it. Have you ever seen someone slain in the spirit and wondered if it was legit? Anyone can look you up on Facebook and gather up enough to “prophecy” over you. It doesn’t take the Holy Spirit. You can mimic it through your actions and energy and words. If you really want to break it down, even caffeine or drugs can give someone a God face. Yes, who you are to other people and the Jesus you represent matters. Don’t misunderstand. We’re called to be witnesses. But if who you are in public is not a reflection of who you are in secret, it’s just a pretty face. Pretty faces are worthless in the middle of the dark rooms we’re called to be lights in.
I do ask that, with everything I’ve been up to lately, that you would pray in agreement with me that those things will plant seeds and make a difference. I’ll leave it at that. And I’ll also pray for the things you do, that people will be blessed for the God you have come to love in secret. And then, when we get to the other side, I’ll look forward to hearing all about it. 🙂