Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Be Afraid

Sometimes I live in and act out of fear. Like when I walk in my daughters' rooms to check on them at night after they've gone to sleep, and a thought hits me...

What if they wake up sick? What if they don't wake up at all? What if???

Or when my husband leaves for work in the mornings:

I hope he's okay today. What if he has a wreck? What if he has an accident with one of his tools?

Or when I'm faced with heights:

What if I fall off the cliff? What if the pier beneath me buckles? What if the railing breaks and I fall of the balcony?


And, especially, lately...the fear that probably tops all fears: the fear of lost people seeing me as just another religious, self-righteous, super-spiritual "Christian." I tell you, it's enough to make me shut my mouth.

I see and hear of so many Christians living out the extremes of man-made rules and traditions. I'm not sure they're concerned with what the Bible actually says. I wonder if they even think of how Jesus lived. I'm guessing they do, but maybe they only select the parts that fit their agenda.

They're the people who want us to fear missing a day of Bible study, to fear befriending the lost, to fear missing a church service. They want people to live under the Law, which they disguise as being an obedient Christian.

It seems to me that when these Christians work so hard to separate themselves from the world, they're not even in the world. So then, how do they reach the lost? Because if I understand Scripture correctly, Jesus walked in the world, attended celebrations, visited with the worst of sinners. And man-made rules and traditions angered Him. He came to earth to do the will of His Father alone...not to impress other religious people with His appearance or isolate Himself from the wicked. He didn't live in a cocoon for 33 years.

I think of these things, yet I fear being the one that might cause a non-Christian to say, If she's what a Christian looks like, I don't want to be one.

Where to go from here?

Do not fear.

Don't be afraid of the what-ifs. Don't be afraid to share the redemptive love of Jesus. Don't be afraid to live life. Don't be afraid to love. Don't be afraid of the people who would put you in shackles if they could. Don't be afraid.

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