Tuesday, September 18, 2012
All Hat, No Cattle
In "Walden" Thoreau says, "There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts...It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically."
A few weeks ago, I had a long phone call with a best friend who helps me talk through situations. I tend to realize things, while talking through 'life' with her, that I didn't even know I was dealing with in my heart. That day, my heart hurt and as we talked I found myself saying...
"I think some of the people at work would not call me a Christian. They would say I love God...but a Christian? No."
Shocking? I've worked at my job for over 6 years and I've shared my faith, shared my struggles, shared my victories, shared what my life as a disciple of Christ is like but I'm around people daily who profess faith in Jesus yet as a daily practice disagree with and disregard God's word. All cross necklace and no Christ? All hat, no cattle.
But as my friend and I talked through it all, she mentioned that even though it's hard and hurts my heart, it is actually a good thing, especially in the 'bible belt,' that some wouldn't call me a Christian. The reason? Because the definition of a Christian nowadays is seriously skewed and not bible based. Many "Christians" have a non-practicing, TV version of..."you should be nice but shouldn't pull out the bible to help me, and no one is perfect so God doesn't expect me to try" version of Christianity. They have been mistaught and hold to misteaching often because they've not yet taken the time to read and study much less live out for themselves what God says. I know, because until I was 25 years old, I was guilty of that very thing. My heart hurt because I look around and see the "old me" in others and understand why they want to skip the challenges and hold only to verses that give warm fuzzies.
Yet, deep within me now, I want to be the woman who will share encouragements and also the biblical truth and it is that fact, in talking with those around me at work, that makes them not call me a 'true Christian.' God's been merciful to me by sending people in my life then and now who remind me to not just read the bible, to not just study the bible, but to LIVE the bible.
My Dearest God, please help me to keep having courage to share all of your word and not just the parts that would make me well-liked or beloved to others. Please help me live it myself. Help people who are reading this post, not just to take my word or (anyone's word) for everything, but to pick up the bible themselves and take Your Word for it. Help me...help us not to be all cross necklace and no Christ. Help us not just SAY we are your disciples but to actually BE your disciples. Help us to not just study your word but to LIVE your word... even if that first step needs to start today! In Jesus' name, Amen.