Sunday, July 27, 2014

Holding on to the TRUTH!

Doing this short series on testimonies has been interesting.  At first I had no intention of doing a long bunch of posts using these true stories.  But the response was, at first so encouraging that I decided to continue telling stories from my own life.  However, somewhere around day 14, I started to get some private messages and comments about these.  It seems that it was disturbing to some people that I would "boast" about these things.  One anonymous reader even said it was so "ungodly and not a very good Christian witness" to talk about what I had done and experienced.  Was I surprised to get a response to these blog posts?  No.  This blog is public and I welcome sharing.  As I have said before, I have readers from all around the world.  But I was surprised at how negative some of the comments were. 

At my last small group meeting, I was reminded of the highlighted verse above.  In another translation it reads "And they glorified God because of me"!  I had shared about this verse several months ago after being at a meeting where we were all challenged to tell a story that could conclude with.....and they glorified God because of me.  We talked about the false humility that is in the western church that is not Biblical.  Paul was very clear in this verse that the people praised God because of what Paul had said and done or what they had experienced through Paul.  All to often we are quick to say, "it was all Jesus" or "Praise Jesus".  But we are missing the point that it is all part of the master plan of God to use US to accomplish the work in the world.  Not to say that this is something we can do without Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  But it takes our actions and our spoken words to effect the world around us.  Part of that has to be retelling stories and giving our testimony.  That is one way we "go and make disciples" as Jesus instructed us to do.  Let me tell you it is difficult to do this.  Many people had a hard time sharing anything that ended with this statement.  I have really changed my own viewpoint since that night.  I am not so afraid to make the statement that what I have said or done has caused someone else to glorify God. 

Being fearful of what people will think or feel about me - the fear of man - is something most of us struggle with.  It's lots easier to put these words on paper and just shoot them out into that "invisible cloud" and never have to see anyone's face or hear any immediate comments.   But in all truth, these negative comments did make me take a step back and wonder if this blog was something I needed to continue. 

Then yesterday at our High School reunion picnic a former classmate told me, with tears in her eyes, just how powerfully she has been affected by reading my blogs.  She said that she can really relate to the things I have written and she just "knows" that they are true.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  Isn't that just like Jesus to answer our need, even when we haven't really spoken it out? 

So today I am thankful for all of you, the ones taking the time to read these words.  And I am grateful for those that respond to me - even those with comments that are sometimes hard to hear.  It is evidence that someone is actually reading and processing these words and in some way, taking them to heart.  I began this blog with a clear sense that it was what Jesus was asking me to do.  And today, I am continuing it with a renewed and increased sense of purpose. 

Jesus, thank you for who you are.  Thank you that you answer us and hear those unspoken prayers of our heart.  Holy Spirit, thank you for all that you bring to see and read these words.  Pour out your message to them, through my words.  Thank you for computers, the internet and blogging.  Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment