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Robbing our Affections

I’m going to be honest. This post has taken me a while to write because I really had to do some reflecting aaaannndd it was super convicting for me. In my previous post, I talked about things that stir up my affections for Christ and make me love him better. But the hard truth is there are also things that rob us of our love for our Savior.

The more I thought about it, I realized that the things that really distract me from keeping my focus on Christ are small things, not giant, glaring holes in my faith or anything.

Going again from Matt Chandler’s book, To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain:
“No, in fact, the morally neutral temptations are far more apt to rob me of my affections for Jesus Christ, because God’s grown me to the place where those ‘big sins’ aren’t things that appeal to me anymore. But I can easily justify sinfully indulging in things that are non-sins because they are little things, or what the Song of Solomon might call the ‘little foxes’ that get into the vineyard of my worship of God.”

I can think of three things right off the bat that are just like he describes. They are not sins per se, but they do not encourage me to love Christ better and in fact do just the opposite.

  1. Rushing. The ABSOLUTE worse way for me to start my day, or end my day, or get anywhere in between is to rush. I’m pretty sure I get this from my Dad because I can’t think of a single time growing up that we were late to something. And we always arrived at church with 20 minutes to spare. When my mornings are rushed, my devotions are hurried, and I start my day off feeling grumpy and frustrated. If I’m going to any event, I will be on time if it depends on me. The wonderful thing is: I know this about myself. I prepare. I wake up with plenty of time in the morning. I set things out the night before and I leave myself ample driving time to get to work. Do things always work out? Absolutely not. And then God has to teach my heart what is the proper way to respond.
  2. Politics. Wow I cringed just typing that word. I have seen so many people tear each other down over politics that it hurts me. And while I’m an avid voter, you usually won’t find me discussing politics with anyone. And you will almost NEVER find me discussing it online….except now….and here. I have learned that political discussions don’t lead me to love Christ better.
  3. Theological discussions. Did you topple over in your chair? Yeah this was actually the first one that popped into my head when I started thinking about this. Sometimes I get really passionate about theology (which is a good thing!) But sometimes I can get into argume…err…discussions…with people about said theology and it doesn’t end up building up either party. There is a time and place for everything and I have had to learn this the hard way many times.

Now comes the disclaimer. This is MY list. Not yours. Absolutely none of these things I listed is a sin in and of itself; they are just ways that I have found can lead me to sin. They don’t lead me closer to Christ. Now, does it mean if I’m running late, I don’t move faster? Of course not! Does it mean I never discuss theology? Bahahaha! It means that I know how to control my emotions better and have learned when a discussion should be stopped or moved. So the beauty of it is, your list is probably different. In fact, I hope SOMEBODY has a different list because the world would be in a pretty bad spot in all believers refrained from discussing politics! I’m SO thankful for those that can!

Feel free to tell me what’s on your list. I won’t impose mine on you and vice versa. 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2018 in books

 

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American or Christian?

My Sunday School class has been doing an in depth study on the conscience recently. Which is fascinating- I don’t think I’ve ever really studied it before. We’ve talked about things your conscience can be, things it can do, how it can be misguided or aligned to truth. And all throughout the study, one particular topic keeps coming to my mind. Rarely does politics ever enter the stage of this blog, so here goes.

Last election, I did not vote for Trump. Now before all my conservative, Republican friends whip out their phones to call my parents and ask what kind of daughter they raised and all my Democrat friends starting cheering, ya might want to hold your horses. The reason I determined, after much thought and prayer, that I couldn’t vote for him, was a matter of conscience for me. It literally would have gone against my conscience to do so. Now I completely understand that is NOT the case for everyone and, while I challenged my friends to think about it, I cheerfully told them that if their conscience allowed them to vote for Trump, then go for it!

I did not vote for Clinton either. I did the unpardonable sin (apparently) in the voting world and I voted third party. Actually I did worse- I did a write in because the candidate I wanted to vote for was not on the ballot in my state. But I did it with a completely clear conscience. And yes, I heard every single argument about how that is wasting your vote and not being a good citizen and all that. Can I just say I have actually never felt as “persecuted” (I hesitate to use that word) in my whole life for a choice based on faith as I did during that time? And all the mocking was actually coming from believers and close friends of mine. Many times it brought me to tears. Really sad. Please don’t ever make fun of someone who is honestly doing something out of conscientiousness. Even if you think they are misguided. Come alongside them and talk things through, but don’t mock them.

But it brings me to my next point. Which is where I might really start to get into trouble. I have often thought that sometimes believers are Americans first and then Christians. *Indignant murmuring starts* Sometimes it seems that our allegiance is to AMERICA! and then to the Lord. Let me ask you some serious questions (and believe me when I say I have already asked myself them):

-Do you talk more about the president or about Jesus?

-Do you get more upset/offended when someone talks trash about your favorite politician or when someone misuses God’s name?

-Are you more more passionate about your gun rights or loving others with different opinions?

-Would you be more upset if someone came to take your gun away or your Bible away?

-Do you brag more about our country or about our Lord?

-What would your FaceBook/Instagram show?

These are just a few of things that I’ve thought through myself that determine where my heart is at. Yes, I am thankful to live in America. It is a blessing. But I am a believer in Christ FIRST and my heart belongs to him above everything else.

 

As usual, feel free to share your thoughts, but if you are going to rant, it probably won’t ever appear in the comments. 🙂 Weird how that works, huh?

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in politics

 

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