Pointin’ UPward not Outward

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-reprimand-image14239045“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:2, NASB

As a Christian writer & blogger, I see loads of posts around the internet, whether it be on a YouTube, a blog, a tweet, FB status.  Even Instagram & Pinterest have their share of images that make statements to anyone who will listen. And whooey, boy, I have to skip many of the discussions that take place as a result. I honestly don’t have the stomach for it.

I get it. I’m in the thick of it. I too am fed up with Washington. Sick of Hollywood and popular culture, with what is considered “hot” & “sexy.” I too am saddened by kids who don’t use discretion in their clothing or in what they post online. I am one of the moms that wrestles with what is and what is not okay. To some, I’m overly strict in my views. To others, I’m not strict enough. Really what I want more than anything is for God to show me the best way to lead my kids to loving Him and others more.  It’s hard to wrestle with the freedom we have in Christ. It’s also hard to figure out whose perspective to listen to as we are bombarded with opinion after opinion, both in person & online. Now mine is adding to the mix, albeit in a different way.

Each unique human being, formed with different personalities, raised in different regions and cultures and family life, is going to have unique takes on life. Even as Christians, we are all wired so differently, which is cool. But as it pertains to those speaking from a ministry perspective,  I’m sometimes unsettled with the blame & shame perspective, especially in regard to those I see online  (though it is not my intention to shame anyone who blames & shames). Not all of them are mean-spirited, some have the tone of grace, some are quite necessary and beneficial to make a point…but it causes me to ask the Lord for discernment in each message I hear, each opinion I read. And I wonder, how would the Lord have me use my voice? My pen? Every Christian has to ask that question of God & be obedient to how He leads them, if it is biblical of course.

Here’s where the Lord has me right now. I want my crooked finger to point upward, not outward. I long to show others Who-to more often than how-to. He has given me a strong desire to share stories about the unfailing, unfathomable love of Jesus Christ, His mercy & the hope that He offers, the change He can bring to dark hearts and troubled lives. Less, “do this, don’t do that.” And more, “Be His, live in dependence on Him, abide in Him.”

But the conflict within me, and I think within many Christians is that we long to see moral change, to be a light to the world, to reveal His Truth & His precepts. It feels like things are spinning out of our control. It hurts so much to see all the filth around us in the world…the ugliness inside ourselves. So it’s easier to say “you should be ashamed of yourself” or to shun others whose sins are detestable to us than it is to say “look to Christ, go to Him with that sin (in yourself or others), and trust Him to act.” I dare say the latter is a messier process to live out, but it brings true freedom and peace with Christ down the road.

Part of being His light to the world is not only to expose the darkness but also to offer a new perspective. That’s what the Lord is compelling me to do in life and in ministry. Sometimes out of obedience I must use my voice to correct and rebuke, and I best be sure my heart is humble and right with God in the process. But most of the time, I hope the way I love and live and lead, brings others a faith-filled perspective: A perspective that knows that I’m the worst sinner of all.  That if not for His grace, I’d be that woman on the other side of the wagging finger. That sometimes that lost one might be better served if I prayed for her, loved on her, encouraged her of all she is or could be in Christ. A perspective that knows that Jesus truly is the answer for all that’s broken and ugly in this world, in that person, in you…in me.

“asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Eph 1:17-18, NLT

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Col 4:6, ESV

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7 Responses to Pointin’ UPward not Outward

  1. Yvonne Blake says:

    Great article, Lalee.
    I’ve been thinking about what my reaction should be to the way our country is headed. Yes, I’m shocked and grieved – very much. I pray for my children and grandchildren that they will be strong in their faith. But I don’t feel right in blasting our government or society. My voice is not going to change the whole country.

    But my humble and quiet voice can change a life.

    No matter where I live in the world – no matter what government is over me – if I belong to Jesus Christ, then I should live my life as an example of Him. I should share His love with those He brings into my life. I should love them as He loves them – pray for them – care for them – forgive them.

    That is all He asks of me.

    • LauraLeeShaw says:

      Beautiful statement, Vonnie. Thank you so much for adding your thoughts.

    • Laury says:

      That was beautiful, Vonnie. My hope is, that as things get worse in the world, that we are able to stand firm in our faith. When I read about persecutions around the world and people jailed and put to death because of standing up or even just living their lives quietly for the Lord – will I be able to stand up for my faith? I hope so. Will my kids? I don’t know. Praying so.

  2. Laury says:

    What a great post, Laura! If only we would look in the mirror more often before we judge. If only… Even quietly, when I see someone and assume things – even when I don’t say anything aloud – God knows our thoughts too. I want to see others how God sees us – with love. <3

  3. Angel says:

    I soooo resonate with your heart on this. We spend entirely too much time pointing out wrongs instead of pointing people to the only One who is Truth. Thanks for your boldness!

    • Well, I did it again 10 minutes ago…and yesterday, & yes, it is so so hard. I condemn others, I condemn myself, while all the while God tells us that there’s condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. It’d just be easier if it were all black & white sometimes, you know? Thanks for your encouragement, Angel.
      LauraLee Shaw recently posted..Pointin’ UPward not Outward

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