I feel as if I should start with a confession: I absolutely cannot keep my mouth shut. Not when it comes to particular things. Bring up a topic like God, the Bible, politics, or current events and you will have me going for hours (if you’re lucky…I could go on for days). I’ve often been described as “passionate.” Others have called me overzealous. I just know that I can get, um…fired up.
Most of the time when addressing these subjects, I am speaking from deeply held, biblical convictions. You see, the Bible tells us that all believers have been gifted by God with specific spiritual gifts. And I have been told that my spiritual gift is prophecy. That doesn’t mean “predicting the future” like you think of prophecy. It just means that I see current events and topics and the personal or cultural consequences of not following God’s Word. It also means that I have an intense burden to warn people of the implications of living a life apart from Christ and total submission to His Word. And suppressing the urge to stay silent about the truth of those things, for me, is like suppressing the urge to deliver a baby once in labor. I can’t.
This poses several problems for me.
1) I am always a hypocrite. I cannot live up to my own convictions. I am a sinner, in very desperate need of a Savior. And I fall short, daily. I am so grateful to Jesus Christ who took my mess, my brokenness, my futile attempts at “being good”, and my pride (oh, my pride), and instead gave me peace, wholeness, beauty, purpose, and reconciliation with the Father I had despised. I had made Him my enemy and, through the Cross, He lavished His love upon me and called me Friend. Unbelievable grace. And I plead for the grace of Christ to cover me because I still have so very far to go as I walk this road of obedience and surrender. So very far. But (I believe), my own inability to perfectly live the truths that I implore people to recognize doesn’t invalidate them as truths. If anything, I hope that my life is a walking testimony of the truth of the Gospel. There is no one righteous. Not one. No one can live perfectly or earn our way to Salvation. Even when we know the path to walk, in our own efforts we will always fall short. We all desperately need a Savior.
2) I want to live at peace with everyone. I’m the type of person who generally gets along well with most people. In high school, I was that girl who had friends in every grade and every “group” within the school. I steer clear of conflict regarding everyday matters and I am more apt to make myself uncomfortable than to risk asking someone else to compromise. My personality is also bent toward being a mediator. I love helping people find ways to understand each other and come into agreement. When I walk into a room, I act as a barometer, gauging everyone’s emotional “pressure,” and I immediately begin working to neutralize any potential minefields. So it is quite the existential contradiction that I am also so often compelled to create them. Because, let’s face it, religion and politics…you just don’t go there. But I do. And my willingness to discuss these issues so boldly doesn’t win me any friends. In fact, it often creates enemies out of friends, which grieves me deeply. My prayer is that people will see the heart behind my exhortations to return to God’s Word as their plumbline, because although we as Christians are called to speak truth to each other, we are told to speak with love. And I try to speak with love. I know sometimes I fail miserably. I hope that people do not perceive my words as judgement, but I know that sometimes they do. I want people to know that truly love them, even if they don’t even believe in God. As I incite people to walk in obedience and submission to God’s Word, it is my prayer that I will speak with, act with, and extend grace. Grace. Because the grace that God so extravagantly poured out on us should naturally be extended to one another. Because none of us is there yet. We are all still on the journey towards being conformed to the image of the Son.
Despite these challenges, however, I am still compelled to say the hard things, especially here where my goal is to document for our children how we are purposing to live with intentionality, planting Gospel seeds so that our great-grandchildren will know what a great God we serve. I so desperately want our sons to understand the reasons why behind all of the decisions we make for our family. I long for them to live their lives surrendered to the only One who is infinitely worthy of our exclusive devotion. I want to teach them to live with vision. Sometimes living with future generations in mind requires sacrifices in the present. I hope that they will come to understand (and even appreciate) those sacrifices.
Therefore, I will continue to proclaim truth, so that my children, myself, and (hopefully) others will live lives surrendered to the One who is the Truth. Because when all is said and done, if I’m honest, I want my whole life to be a Confession.