For too long in my life I put aside praising God out loud, offering spiritual lessons as they came to mind, and putting my faith into words for others to hear. These things were never gone from who I am, but inadvertently placed on the back burner.
My husband is a man of faith and a man of example. You won’t hear him talking much about his faith unless you are close enough to him and ask, but you will see him consistently living his faith, in good times and bad.
How admirable is that?
I guess it was for that reason that I thought that my faith too should be exemplified (only), and not so much talked about.
That was problem #1: Thinking that because someone else, especially a person of influence in my life, was living out their faith in a certain way, that I should too.
More than that though, I thought maybe I should be quiet. I mean, none of us wants to be the one that talks about her faith then falls short.
I think that was my biggest problem: risking teaching about Jesus and then doing something stupid. Kind of like the angry driver ahead cutting people off, all while sporting the “I love Jesus” bumper sticker.
What if I were to offer our children a spiritual lesson on delighting in the Lord, and then I was grumpy or discouraged, that would look bad, right?
How about teaching against complaining, and then complaining. And who never complains?
Words without action are empty, but teaching moral standards and then not conforming to them ourselves makes us our very own Pharisee. Hypocrisy is a nasty thing. I have seen it in action, and it is vile. I have a fear of being a hypocrite. That’s probably a good thing.
Until it’s not.
When fear, even of a good thing, stops us from being who we are in Christ, it becomes a bad thing. It paralyzes us from being truly ourselves and from using God’s created-just-for-us gifts and talents; those gifts and talents which were designed to equip us, benefit others, and ultimately bring glory to God.
Is there something that you’re afraid of?
Is there something holding you back from being fully the person God created you to be, and using the gifts and talents he specifically tailored for you?
Ask God to free you from whatever is holding you back. His desire is for you to be unburdened and set free.
In the words of a song that used to play on a children’s radio program:
There is just one you,
Not twenty, not ten, not two.
In all of the whole world through,
God only made one you.
Go and be that amazing person.