I wouldn’t use the word bold to describe myself, and I’ve struggled with courage, but I’ve tried to be faithful. I don’t hide the fact I’m a Christian. I’ve been intentional about looking for opportunities to work my faith into my conversations. I’ve prayed for or with people when they are feeling hopeless or weary. I’ve shared the Gospel a few times, and in general have tried to bear good fruit. But, in all my subtle and overt faith-sharing experiences, I’ve never been met with hostility.
We’ve all seen it happen. Someone you know, or maybe it was you, fell too quick too fast and ended up with a broken heart. “Maybe next time,” you think, “I should play hard to get.”
I get it. It can be confusing knowing how to live out your faith in a practical way. You want to love Jesus and be a good Christian, but sometimes it can be hard to know how. Sometimes Christians do a great job demonstrating what it looks like to “Be a Christian”, but sometimes Christians are completely uninspiring or conduct themselves in a way that makes calling yourself a Christian seem downright embarrassing.
I lost track of the brothers after they split up 6 years ago. On their own, Nick and Joe’s independent pursuits weren’t as wholesome as what the brothers had produced together. It quickly became apparent that their previous convictions to sexual purity were not taking priority as their music became riskier and the purity rings disappeared.
I’ve always found Mary’s response to the shepherds sharing what the angels told them sweet, but now, as a new mom it holds new depth. Mary wasn’t just being sentimental, she was being wise.
A generation of girls made an abstinence pledge with the doe-eyed hope of a passionate wedding night only to discover their new husbands (who often were virgins themselves) had no clue what they were doing. Depending on how good your communication with your new spouse was, this night could still end up being sort of what you hoped and dreamed for. But, it could also end in frustration. Your first sexual encounter, what you had been waiting for and saving yourself for, could seem to be a disappointment.
When we just consume media, and don’t take time to dissect what we are consuming, we gain nothing of value. If we want to gain anything of positive impact we need to be diligent in looking for it. The Bible can be used to help us see what is good about a story. What we should take away and maybe even allow to impact our behavior. The Bible also can show us what is not good.
How do we get Jesus peace, joy, and hope amidst hardship? We need to have His perspective, and Jesus’ perspective is always looking beyond the temporary. This world is not our home. Whatever it throws at us is temporary. It’s difficult to keep that perspective sometimes, but it is key. Jesus has overcome this world, and we can too. Every day we choose to live for that which is eternal, we are conquerors.
We fail a lot. In fact, you could say it’s human nature to fail and to do so frequently. So how can we fail and be "perfect just the way we are" at the same time? Something seems off about that...
When I reflect on high school and college and all the ways I worried, I now see so clearly the peace worry robbed from me. I became a slave to my worry. That's not what God wants for us. He desires for us to walk in freedom from worry.