Recently, I picked up the bible to do my devotion and I turned to Matthew. As I read, the Lord spoke to my heart.
I attend a church where for a very long time I have felt like I did not belong. It had nothing to do with the preaching of the truth, but rather with the living of the truth.
I have always felt like people were judged based on their family background, educational accomplishments, wealth, fame and looks. Talk about a shallow experience!
And so, for most of my time in this congregation, I have pretty much stuck to myself.
As I read the verses in Matthew 12, once again it was brought to my mind, that my staying away and keeping to myself around church people was not christian.
You see, I had given in to the culture of the church. I had allowed myself to pull away from those who I should consider as family in Christ.
It is true that there is an unhealthy atmosphere there. But, it is not everyone who acts this way. It might be those who are seen and heard a lot, but when I took time to look I saw others who did not share this attitude. When I took the time to look at others and not simply to look at myself and react to what was going on in church, I was able to see so many brothers and sisters in Christ and so many others who felt like I felt.
I then realized that I was equally as wrong as those who formed these exclusive cliques. I had not been doing what God called me to do because I was allowing self to rise up. I was allowing circumstances to dictate how I acted and not allowing God to direct me.
Wasn’t this the same as those church people? They had let what people had, how they looked and what they accomplished determine how they responded to others. They were not living for God in what they were doing.
And I had also done the same.
I allowed how people acted and what they said to determine how I responded to them and others.
I was one of those church people because I was not allowing God to be seen in all that I did. I was not looking at others through the eyes of Christ, but through my own eyes.
Oh Lord, forgive me.
Father, help me to see my sin and not look at the sins of others. Isolation is as much of a sin as any other because in isolating myself I am not doing Your will. How am I living Your example when I am hiding away and shying away from what You are calling me to? Father teach me to do Your will. Teach me not to respond to things based on my feelings, but to allow You to been seen and known in all that I do. Amen.
Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard;
Not I, but Christ in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ in every thought and word.