Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Matter of the Heart

Last night I was talking via Facebook to an old friend of mine that I hadn't seen in about 8 years. Her family used to home church with my family before moving to Wisconsin. I asked her about her family and she told me a heartbreaking story. Her stepfather, who had been a new Christian when my family knew them, had become a drug addict and ended up in jail many times. He eventually left home and moved to a different state. Her younger brother ran away from home when he was 16, and she has only seen him once since then. Her own mother disowned her and started spreading mean and untrue rumors about her. She left home last year and since then has lost her job, her car, and is currently living with the help of friends and working on a ranch in Texas, trying to pick up the pieces. She said she feels lost.
I didn't quite know how to respond to all of that, but I told her I would pray for her, asked her if she had a church family there, and tried to encourage her that God loved her and would give her strength and help her through everything that is going on. Here is what she wrote back.
" I guess i've given up on going to church and God, i know that sounds pretty bad but it's the truth... When both of your parents and everyone you know "says they are a christain" and yet they live life just like everyone else or worse, you think of it all as just a joke. I just dont see the difference in a christian execpt they live a double life. I dont want that, i am who i am no matter what or who's around, i HATE liars."

Isn't that sad?! Because the Christians she has been around were not living their lives wholly for Christ, this young lady has turned her back completely on God. Now, that is not to say that it is completely their fault. We each have a responsibility for our own selves, but she has grown up watching people who called themselves Christians living very sinful and un-Christlike lives. There was no change in them brought about by having the love of Christ in their hearts. It isn't surprising that she now views Christianity as a joke.
This brought up the question for me- when non-Christians look at me, do they see someone who puts on a 'Christian' front but on the inside is no different than the non-believers they know? Do they see a real Christlike spirit in me? Am I just going through the motions, or is it in my heart?
But the Lord said to Samuel, " Do not look at his appearance or the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. " 1 Samuel 16:7

"I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10

God doesn't want us to put on a show. He wants us to give Him our hearts. He wants us to be living for Him and being a good witness for others.

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see you good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

"Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:12

We need to remember that the world is watching us, to see if we practice what we preach, and if God is real or just some made up idea. How we live our lives may be a major influence in wether someone accepts Christ as their savior or not. My conversation with my friend was a big wakeup call for me. And a good reminder. I hope it is a good reminder for you too.

I don't want to go through the motions
I don't want to go one more day
Without your all consuming
Passion inside of me

I don't want to spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything
Instead of going through the motions?


Marci said...

Good post Brittany. It is something we all need to think about and to do it often!!!

Melody said...

Aw, that is so sad about your friend! I'll be praying for her. It really hurts our testimony when we don't show in our lives and actions that we are God's children.


carlotta said...

That's awful about your friend. I don't know what I would do if I were in her situation...praying for her.

Jthemilker said...

You are a wise young woman. What a sad situation. Keep praying!

Frannie said...

Thank you for sharing, I really was blessed by that. I pray that your friend may seek and find the Lord. Thank you for this important reminder!