It doesn't really matter what your friends think of you, or some might say; "Your peeps, your boys, your homey's, your crew.....," and, it doesn't really matter, for eternal purposes, what your family thinks about you. All that really matters is 'What does the LORD think, when He thinks about you?' In other words, 'How does the LORD see you?'
You see, it isn't hard to pretend to be a "good" person in the eyes of the world. If Marilyn Manson gave a Million bucks to fight poverty in Africa, it wouldn't surprise me if he'd be recognized as a "Great" humanitarian, despite the fact that he stands for much of what God opposes.
Or how about an example that's a little more personal? Let's say you were put up as a contestant on a game show called, "What kind of person are they?," and people all around you got to name things about you that they've identified to be true in your life. Chances are you'd do pretty well, after all, we don't 'normally' show our worst to society, do we?? You probably do your best, or at least make an effort, to be "seen" as a "decent" person in the eyes of the world, right?, and understandably so!
It isn't that hard to put on the facade of Godliness, while maintaining an inner desire for unGodliness, is it? Don't cuss in front of old people, own a bible, check Christianity (or some-other religion) on an application, don't murder people, stay out of jail, etc., etc.; you see where I'm going with this.
The same is true for those of us who openly, and unashamedly, proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We too, can have a facade of Godliness, while in our hearts, maintain a desire for unGodliness, right? Am I the only one who can say "Amen" to this, or can you be honest enough to acknowledge what I'm saying? Maybe not all the time, but more often than you might care to admit, you feel your heart straying and begin desiring things that you openly denounced at your conversion and then again at your baptism.
We Christians, too, have our own "Christian Checklists," don't we. We believe that by checking these things off on our list, we somehow stay closer to God. Things like:
- Read your Bible
- Go to church
- Join a church
- Give any amount of money to church
- Don't drink, (or if you're Biblical), don't be a drunk
- Don't cuss (at least not in front of other Christians)
- Don't look "too long" at Beautiful Women
- Use words like; Brother, Amen, Sanctified, Hallelujah, etc.
- Use the ESV Bible (best version available!)
- Don't smoke
- Be Southern Baptist
- Don't get tatoos (and if you have them, remove them or hide them)
- Wear a tie to church
- Feather your hair
Now, before I'm misunderstood, let me say clearly what I'm not saying. I'm NOT saying that the list above is a bad list to keep, UNLESS, of course, you're keeping it to "stay right" with God, or "be found" right with God to begin with. Like a religious person who has never repented of their own personal sin, received Jesus Christ as their own LORD and Savior, but yet, because they do some of the things listed above, believe they're acceptable to God. If you have repented of your sin, and received Jesus as LORD in your life, then keeping these things should be a "response" to what God has already done in your life, not an "initiator" to get God's attention!
Our righteousness can only come from life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, PERIOD! Nothing else you do can 'make' you righteous in the eyes of the LORD, so stop trying, begin trusting, and allow the Spirit of the LORD to move in your life purging you from things that are harmful to you, your family, and stand in opposition to your new life in Christ.
So, "Would the real you please stand," and allow God to begin His handy work!!!
Til Death Unites or Separates us,