Monday, June 29, 2015

This World is Not Our Home

This is a guest post from my friend, Tami Minor.

I don't expect nonChristians to base their lives on Christian principles. Why would they seek to honor a God they don't know, don't understand, or have outright rejected? So, it doesn't surprise me at all if a nonChristian's behavior is in contradiction to the Bible. I am always disappointed though when a Christian's behavior contradicts Biblical principles, especially when that Christian is me.

Many times over the years, my children would witness or hear of different behaviors and ask me why the people involved behaved that way. "Why do they dress so immodestly, or speak so unbecomingly? Why do they do drugs or get drunk? Why do they commit adultery, or have abortions, or murder, or steal?" I always say ,"Because they don't know the Lord. Because they aren't walking with God... or because they aren't Christians." 

NonChristians have their own morality based on what they think or feel or based on another religion altogether. A Christian's morality is based on the Bible. As Christians, we believe that disobedience to God is sin. The truth is, my worst sins occurred after I became a Christian. So daily, I go to the cross of my Lord and seek forgiveness. I desire to live rightly, and in obedience to the Bible.... one hymn refers to this concept as "absolute sway." I strive to do this. 

Do I wish the world didn't perceive Christians as backward, misinformed, or foolish? Sure, I do, but the Bible says to expect that. Do I wish that Christians weren't beheaded or otherwise persecuted for their faith? Of course, I do, but Jesus taught us not to be caught off guard by the hatred of this world. Do I wish, really truly wish, that the community in which I live, even the state, the country, the world was predominantly Christian and that my children could grow up that way, with predominantly Christian influences on tv, on the internet, at the movies, on billboards, on the news, in schools, everywhere? Of course I do, but I do not expect it. Christian behavior is about Christ. I admit I like the idea of the security of living inside a Christian bubble. 

But Jesus tells us to take Him outside. I am not an effective witness. But He is an effective God. If the world behaves in a worldly way, it is completely in line with its nature. I am supposed to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. Frequently, because of my beliefs, people I love will be on one side of an issue and I am on the opposite side. And strangely enough, it wasn't about sides at all for me. But if an earthquake splits your home, your neighborhood, or your country down the middle, people are going to fall on one side or the other. I am just attempting to live rightly and to honor God with that attempt. 

Can we honor God and love others? I don't think we can honor God unless we love others. Can we honor God without obedience. No, we can't. So sometimes, my children, ask me why Christians behave badly. "Why do they dress so immodestly, or speak unbecomingly, etc etc." I tell them that sadly, Christians aren't always obedient, but that God has made provision for that...that if we will turn from our disobedience, He will forgive us...that being Christians doesn't make us perfect, but that it daily perfects us. Christians are peculiar. Not because they seek to look different, but because following a scriptural mandate for behavior makes them look different. 

If you are a nonChristian, this is your world. I am just passing through.