Sunday, September 7, 2008

Integrity opens doors to the gospel

I am studying 1 John with some ladies at the church this fall.  This week we talked about integrity in relationships and how that basically means that we are the same all the time in relationships.  We have some relationships that we feel we need to be super spiritual and some that in which we don't want to be spiritual at all.  Why is it that we do that?  For me I know of 2 reasons. First, I don't want them to think that I am weird or not "cool" or that I don't know my stuff.  Second, is that for the not so spiritual, I always think that they don't understand anyway so why bother (why I parent the way I do, why we spend our time the way we do, etc.)  But as we talked about this Gal 1:10 and Tammy Murden came to my mind.  Galatians 1:10 basically says that if I am serving man then I am not serving God. And Tammy Murden always, always told me to live my life for an audience of 1.  So basically when I change how I talk and what I do when I am around the lost (even my family) I am not serving God and living with Him as my ONLY audience.  Challenging!!!
I have seen this play out over the last couple weeks in various ways.  One specific.  A family member that is not a believer and I were having a discussion that we have had 1000 times.  Usually during this conversation I seem to coddle her or not say much at all because, well I just didn't think it would matter.  I decided this time to speak the truth and pray it would be received in love. opened the door to about a 1 hour gospel presentation.  The only thing I did different was speak truth - God's word into this situation rather than comfort her with empty words.
I am challenged by this idea on both sides of the spectrum.  I want my relationships to be ones of integrity across all spectrum's.  I don't want to just do good for people but I want to speak good (truth) to them as well.  I must say that heading back to my hometown will really be a challenge for me in this area.  I became a believer when I was at college and haven't return there for any length of time since then.  I was a good kid but I want people to really know that my life is different.  This means living out these relationships with integrity.  Please pray that God will give me opportunities there and that I will take them and not miss out on the blessings that come with obedience.  We are headed to a dry and barren land!

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