I'm sure you all read intently our last post...this little bit remained. I didn't wanna include both together as I thought it might be a lot to read at once.
...a continuation of a conversation with Al.
Al and I continued are chats. We talked about those things that we had left behind when we decided to follow Christ. Those things that we have left behind can take various forms, they could be one of those things that on their own may not be a bad idea, but may have no redeeming qualities, like smoking. It could be something else, like when we first surrender our lives to Jesus we felt convicted to leave a certain thing behind, as more than anything, it interrupted our relationship with God. It might not be a horrible thing but Jesus wants center stage in our lives. And for someone looking on the outside they might wonder why we would make some of these changes because for them they couldn’t see anything really wrong. As Al and I talked we spoke about these types of issues and then again related it back to our earlier discussion on what do we do when we see a brother or sister in Christ drifting away. They may not be doing anything really wrong yet you can tell that as they being to make more and more decisions their focussed has changed...it could start as easy as a Sunday golf game instead of church. And little by little they find something more entertaining than worshipping God. Paul had a little discussion about this with the Galations. The offender wasn’t heading out to the lake or to play a game of tennis rather than going to spend time with fellow Christians praising God; no, he was returning to an old custom... It was really interesting that this past Sunday we studied Galations, part of which is Paul’s reprimand of Peter for changing his style of association with Gentile believers. He began asking them, new Christians, to adopt old Jewish customs that Paul says even Peter knew was wrong in his own mind. Paul was saying that if Peter believed we are saved by faith and not by the law then we shouldn’t be hanging onto old customs that were part of the law and Peter shouldn’t be insisting that the new Gentile converts follow the old Jewish customs. Sometimes we get trapped into routines as well, that we know aren’t good, we hang on to bad habits that retard are spiritual growth. The habits themselves aren’t “wrong” but they’re not going to bring us closer to Jesus. And sometimes we justify behavior because those around us are doing it...do we really wanna live in mediocrity?
What started as a small discussion with Al about an issue he was struggling with, ballooned into a central tenant of how I belief, how do I rationalize my own actions? Do I judge myself against the inherent Word? Am I fully surrendered?
Pro 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but Jehovah ponders the hearts.