(My apologies for doing this last part SO LATE!! But here it is. Hope this series has been a blessing to you; there will be more in the future so #staytuned)
Part III, the last and final part of “Regifting the Gift,” ends with Ecclesiastes 8:9:
9″All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.” (Eccles. 8:9)
The first question that popped up was, “Have you truly applied yourself to this Word?” And the answer was no. Usually when I go to study my Word, I stop at just that. (In one ear, out the other)
The next question was, “Have you applied this Word to your works, to the way you carry yourself, the way you live? Or are you an adaptation of what you consider saved to be?”
I recently finished a segment on my notes (FB) on “Me, John & Nicodemus.” One of the things I noted when I studied over John was that Nicodemus (as well as the other Pharisees) lived a concept of what they considered saved to be. So after God hit me with that question, I had to really stop and think about it…
Looking back I can say that it all makes sense now. I was like Nicodemus in some ways in that I lived a concept of what I thought saved to be, instead of just doing as God said in His Word. I tended to take on a chameleon approach: the Jackie at church differed from the one around her friends, that differed from the one at home and again around family, at school, around sorors…
God always has a way of bringing me back down to reality…
“You don’t have it together, and you don’t have all the answers either. That’s why Jesus came.” He then added, “Jesus is the ONLY way, because your way DOESN’T work.”
Huh–did you catch that? Jesus is the ONLY way, because your way DOESN’T work.
“So stop trying to use a game plan designed to fail you and walk in the way that is right. Stop trying to be a chameleon and be yourself.”
For years I tried to do it my way, but my way didn’t fill that void inside of me that told me I was missing something. It didn’t erase the pain and the anger that I carried around for all that time either. It didn’t help me to overcome the things I struggled with, if anything, it dug the grave that much deeper…It was not until I gave my life to Christ that things began to change.
So no, our way doesn’t work. And it doesn’t make sense to keep beating your head against the wall when Jesus is right there waiting to deliver you with arms wide open. And you know what the best part is?
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!
You don’t have to know every single scripture, be a full fledged member of the church and all super saint up–if that were the case, Jesus would have never came, because we wouldn’t need Him. All you have to do is accept Him and believe on Him…
And know that Christ likes YOU, not the pretend person everyone else sees, but the one He designed you to be. (No better way to rediscover you than through His Word)
“When you truly, absolutely start standing for those things that Christ stands for, you’ll see a change in your surroundings. Your surroundings ought to change before you do.”
When I actually did start being me in Christ and standing for what He stands for, I didn’t have to do a lot of extra stuff or acting all super holy around people–the people themselves changed. I still spoke to those people who I knew liked to smoke/get high and when I came around they stopped smoking around me. I still spoke to those who swore…A LOT…and they changed their language around me. I still spoke to those who really weren’t into that “Jesus stuff” but their conversations and how they conducted themselves around me changed because they knew that I wasn’t about that life–not anymore.
It’s when you try to force Jesus on folks that they begin to resent you…however, you shouldn’t let how people view you dictate how you walk in Him, which is something I tended to do because the friends I knew for so long I didn’t want to lose.
“Stop worrying about losing people and things you don’t need anyway and concentrate on doing better for yourself.”
I found that I like what’s familiar, and familiarity is comfortable for me…which leads to complacency. I kept those who were bad influences and a hinderance in my relationship with Christ because I already knew a handful of people as it was…and it’s difficult for me to make new friends…and most of the places I like to go to they tag along…I mean, I can’t go somewhere by myself!
(Blah, blah, blah…some other random excuse…blah, blah)
“God is the only thing that matters. Don’t worry about those other folks; your salvation is more important that your popularity.”
That last line did it for me, “…your salvation is more important than your popularity.” I cared too much about being liked, more than I even wanted to admit to myself.
Because in truth I still hadn’t dealt with my issues of loneliness…even now. And it affected me to the point where I was willing to tolerate and deal with certain people that I was cool with. They were fun, they knew all the best jokes–but their lifestyle and the choices they made were taking them down a different direction than where I wanted to go.
So, I took a stance today. It started with my FB friend’s list.
I have a ton of people that I added because of D9/Greek affiliation, went to PVAMU, WHS…but in actuality I don’t really know them, haven’t spoken to them a day in my life or haven’t spoken in several years. So I removed them.
And I need to do the same with my Twitter…a lot of the things I see on my TL are things that I really don’t want to read/see…and I’ve been hesitant because “Well…I mean…but it’s SO AND SO! I can’t let go of SO AND SO!”
But if I want to go higher in Christ, I gotta let some things (AND PEOPLE) go. Doesn’t mean I stop speaking to that person…if I happen to actually know them and see them in person…but life is bigger than FB, Twitter–this BLOG.
And frankly my salvation matters more.