Rage, Rants & Regrets
This week I read a story about a woman who was riding the bumper of the car in front of her. The car stopped at a yellow light which irritated the woman who had intended to accelerate through the intersection. She laid on the horn, was screaming and gave the man the finger. While in mid-rant she heard a tap on her window and saw a police officer looking at her. She was ordered to exit her car with her hands up. She was taken to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. A couple of hours later the police office apologized for the mistake. "He said, 'I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.'"
I realize that this is not a real story but I was in the car with a friend years ago and was flipped off by a person from my church! She did not recognize me because I was in the passenger seat. I know she would be mortified if she had known who she flipped off! That taught me a real lesson! It would not be my style to flip someone off but I have blown the horn because I was mad and given a mean look! And I would be embarrassed to do that to you! I would regret my actions. People are also watching when we are rude to a salesperson, a server, saying ugly things on social media, always complaining, etc.
No one is perfect and we are going to mess up but I do think Christians are held to another standard. And I think we should be. While we continuously mess up, our ultimate goal should be to bring honor to God. I have shared with you before that one of the hardest parts about doing this blog is that I constantly mess up and I do not want to be a stumbling block to someone. While other Christians may know that I have a heart for God, non believers may say that I am a hypocrite. The truth is: we are all hypocrites. It is not hypocritical to fail. It is hypocritical to deny that we have failed and pretend we were successful.
We can not let the world set our standards. Most likely at some point in our life we begin to think that we want to "repay" God. We start realizing how much He has done for us and we want to do for Him. We want to honor Him. God calls us to grow in faith and be like Christ and to put Him first in our lives. He also knows this does not happen instantly. Romans 12: 2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." God does not expect perfection from us. He knows we will never measure up to his standards. We are to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. Ephesians 4: 23-24, "...to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
A Christian is called to live a life of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3: 12, "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." We need to be honest and authentic with unbelievers. We can acknowledge our sin and share how God forgives us. Ephesians 4: 2-3, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
We can not obey God by ourselves. We need God to help us. Since he lives inside of us we can ask Him to help us to be more Christ like to others. He wants us to depend on Him. When we mature we will become more dependent on Him and that is the way He wants it! Matthew 5: 16, " In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."