Friday, July 31, 2009

A mentor of mine shared with me a sign she saw at a church the other day-

God does not call us to be judges or lawyers, but witnesses

How true it is. Sometimes as Christians it’s easy to get caught up in how others actions don’t reflect God’s commandments for us. We say “Hate the sin, not the sinner” or “Love the sinner, but not the sin” but honestly, do we mean that? No, we pass our judgement just the same. We judge people based on their actions, period. That’s right, we judge them and their actions. Yet we are not called to be judges, just witnesses.

At the same time, we all find ourselves taking part in things we shouldn’t. It’s easy to do. Too easy. I know this summer I found myself slipping from my faith. I would go out with friends on Saturday night, sleep in on Sunday, and before I realized it, another Sunday had gone without going to church. That’s ok I would tell myself, I’ll read a few more verses in the Bible. I was defending my actions. God doesn’t call us to be a lawyer either- he calls us to be a witness.

If we are not called to judge and condemn, or to defend and justify- what is it then we called to do? We are called to witness. Witnessing can look different to many different people. To one of the ladies I work with this summer, it is taking time before every meal to say a short silent prayer. Without uttering a word, she is witnessing, showing her love and reverence for God through a small action. To a good friend of mine, its through simple acts of kindness, like giving her leftover food to someone with none. To one of my professors, its signing up to be a bone marrow donor- and then praying to be called upon. Whatever way you choose, we are all called to witness, the question is, how will you answer that call.

1 John 3:18
"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

Let us show our love for God and others, not through meaningless words, but through our actions. This summer a number of my friends facilitates a service based conference here in Washington, DC. One of the trademark lines of the conference is, “We must, because we can”. Think of showing God’s love in that context. We must show it, because we can. If you really think about it we are truly blessed, and it is our duty to witness to people through our actions. We must, because we can.

As I sum up, I think back over the last few weeks since my last posting. In the beginning of the summer, I was struggling with some of my relationships, both with people and with God. But as I find myself being called more and more to witness to others, I find myself growing stronger in my faith, and stronger in my relationships with other people. Recently I have struggled with the decisions of a very close friend. But as I think back over the saying “God does not call us to be judges or lawyers, but witnesses” I realize the best thing I can do my friend is simply to love them for who they are. I must witness to them not through my words, but through actions that show understanding and compassion. I must be a witness to them, because I can.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."Proverbs 3:5-6

I must trust in the Lord, and know that his will, will be done. And I must answer the call to be a witness, not through words, but with actions, and in truth.

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