I do not want to be vague here. I am going to share these thoughts today because I believe I am not the only one who struggles. That I am part of a generation of women who are seeking. A generation who knows there is something more but can't seem to line it all up in a pretty little row.
In this week's Believing God Bible study, Beth Moore made a statement that hit me in the gut. She said that we can all get a new reputation. That we are all eligible for the change that comes with believing God.
Now I want to tell you a story about last week at Bible study. An interaction that has been on my heart all week. Last week we were grouped up to discuss ways that we use our mouths incorrectly. Each group took a topic like gossip, profanity, lying, etc. My group had profanity. We talked about naughty words and the possible negative impacts. Somehow as the discussion was winding down my little group got off topic. The lady next to me mentioned how homosexuality is now so prevalent on television. And y'all know me, and my mouth, and my views on same sex marriage. This is a big sticking point in my faith and I was offended. Offended that she would assume that just because it was Bible study that I would agree with her. But y'all I held my tongue. That is until she said, "they are ruining our marriages."
I ignored the poke from God that told me that maybe I should keep my mouth shut. Instead I said, "it is interesting to me how Christians don't think same sex marriage should be legal. 50% of marriages end in divorce. Why aren't Christians trying to make the laws change so that only divorce and remarriage as defined by the Bible is legal?" Well, you can probably guess this didn't go over well. She was offended. And of course she had been divorced.
But the worst part is I don't think divorce should be illegal. I don't think people should be shamed for it. I don't think anything bad about people who have been divorced. In fact, it is a miracle that my marriage has lasted nine and a half years with me in it. Seriously.
I was just trying to make a logical argument to prove a point. So why I am telling you this now? Why does this even matter? Because I was raised in church. I was in Bible study. And if I was offended and turned off because of a statement like that then what must people who have never taken the time to study God's word think? How many people are we losing because we want to prove a point?
Now I am not at all saying that Christians can't believe that the Biblical definition of marriage is a man and a woman. I am not even saying that Christians should or shouldn't believe that homosexuality is moral or immoral. That is not my place.
What I am saying is that I think Christians should think before they speak, like I should have when I countered with the whole divorce statement. I think that before a Christian argues a point like homosexuality they should stop and pray and seek God's guidance. Does He need you to say anything? Could making an argument actually keep someone from getting to know Him? Is it really worth it to feel justified? I am reminded of a few verses in the Bible:
Romans 14:13 - Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Matthew 7:6 - Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.
If our true goal is to follow God's commandments then we should trust him to deal with what He has said is sin. If our true goal is to lead others to God then we need to focus not on condemnation but on the miracle of Jesus.
If all of us that claim to be Christians started living the Word, then our world would look different. We are called to be disciples. We are called to love our neighbors. We are called to feed the poor. We are called to take care of widows and orphans. I am not sure we are called to sit on the mountain and point down in judgement.
Do I think that sometimes God uses people to speak out against the sinful behaviors identified in the Bible? Yes. Do I think the majority of bickering going on in the public square is really from God? No.
I want to be a woman who is believing God. I want to be a woman who is following God's will. I want to be a part of the generation that figures out how to change the world. I want a new reputation. One that demonstrates generosity, love, sacrifice, kindness. I want my life to be an example of how to love and live Jesus. I don't want my stubborn tongue to be a stumbling block for God's good work.