Tuesday, April 22, 2014

putting our burdens on others

i love a good hard hitting blog post. or, one of the in real life conversations where you hear someone speak so passionately about something, like homeschooling or natural birth control or ways of eating or adoption or gosh, there are so many things to be passionate about. 

but you leave that blog or that conversation and it has you thinking. 

this is where it gets tricky. what is from the spirit and for me and what is from the spirit and for them. i know it gets tricky because i have seen it in my own life. i have seen it on the web too.

what happens often is, someone is truly convicted from the spirit to make a change in their life. they are convicted about small things or large things and they are obedient to the call to change. and it really changes them, it produces incredible fruit. it's amazing to see and even be a part of that transformation. so we read about their conviction, they so passionately lay before us, and we think...yes. that is good. 

and surely it is for me too.

but is it?

i find comfort that this is not just a modern day conundrum, it has been happening for a long time.  bible times, people! and, in God's kindness, he allows it to be addressed. 

romans 14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

so there are 2 people, both believers, and one does something this way, and the other does something that way.

but it feels so so so black and white to me. this IS the right way. but paul says that we don't get to judge people's convictions, because it's not our job. it's God's. novel idea.

he continues. 

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. Fornone of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

i find great comfort in this as a body of believers. it frees me to acknowledge what is hard for me to admit, that there are more ways to walk out a profession of faith than, well...my way. it's arrogant, but we're all the most arrogant people we know right?

people can do or not do something, FOR HIS HONOR. to his glory. something i have been called to abstain from, God uses someone's non-abstaining in the same way. to point to him. it is crazy to think about, but he made our body of believers to function this way. and for good reason...it sure is hard to make God look like me when i read that. 

doesn't my God vote like me and listen to the same music as me and fly the same flags i fly? wait. that sounds a lot like another me. 

it also frees me to not be so stinking judgmental to people who do things differently than me, in the name of Jesus. i'm not the judge. that's pretty clear..i mean, he says it a couple times in there so i don't forget. he's got this. 
i don't have to beat other people down with my conviction-- i can certainly talk about it and believe that we should. but to prescribe particular ways of being a believer that aren't specifically outlined in the bible as close handed issues, to other believers because it is my way and it has been awesome for me! is particularly an issue we need to be aware of. careful about. soft towards.

mark me as guilty. i need work in this area, but the more i stare at jesus and what he did for me, the more i am called to submit my hard headed stubbornness of the idea that my way is everyone's way. 

and honestly, i think it's unhelpful to each other as sisters in christ. loading up one another with nuanced opinions and burdens that don't belong to them. pushing our deeply particular convictions on people when perhaps, God is doing a different work in them. if there's something to preach, let it be liberty in Christ. we all have so many expectations placed on us, heavy things. if there is something we can do for each other, let us remove heavy bags and preach to each other to rest in the work He has already done for us. perfectly.


(here's a picture from the internet. you're welcome.)


i pray that we can all have tender hearts with each other in this area. where we can be firm when needed, and soft towards others who are in a different place, with a different calling than us. that we can be unified in Christ, all pointing to Him and not to particular nuances of personal convictions. 





29 comments:

  1. amen! this is so true. thank you.

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  2. Dude. Thanks for the slap. You know that slap that comes when as we read something we think of the dozens of people we wish would read this...LEARN THIS, YOU, my arrogant self screams. Then, well, I realize that maybe it's best that I just read it again, for me. Thanks.

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    1. ha. yes. me too. totally something i struggle with so i had to write about it.

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  3. yes. thank you. it is so refreshing to see how God works.

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  4. Wow loved this. Thank you so much for sharing. This is something God has really been teaching me recently too, that it's time for me to stop worrying so much about what it should look like for God to work in other people's lives - what their convictions should look like - and even my own. I just need to be open and fix my eyes on Him. My life doesn't look like what I thought it would in many ways - why on earth should I be worrying about what someone else's looks like! Like you said, God's got it. I don't have to try to fix people or explain to them how to be more like Him, because as much as I like to think I've got that figured out, I think He's still trying to teach me just a few things. :)

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    1. yes yes yes. i love john 21: 20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

      he's all, don't worry about him. what's it to you. you do what i asked YOU to do.

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  5. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Right on! I've been practicing this and it is becoming more natural, but still sooo hard sometimes!

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    1. it's not very natural for me! ha. i have a long way to go.

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  6. Yes and amen! I'm sharing this, Jami. So good.

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  7. Amen sister! I think about this a lot when I blog. The things the Lord is teaching me and the convictions he is giving me, are not necessarily what others are working through with the Lord at this time. There just needs to be a spirit of grace as we walk our journeys:) You are awesome!

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    1. me too, me too. it's such a journey. i'm learning so much...each year, i think, God has really changed me. and that is such a good thing. without him i am bossy and brash. and even with him sometimes! ha.

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  8. yes most definitely yes. i have seen when we live out our convictions in love it has WAY more influence than loading others down with our beliefs and opinions.
    thank you for the pic from the internet.
    peace.

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    1. internet pics are the best! wait....
      ha, yes. there are lots of ways to influence. be obedient to the work god has called you to. sometimes it is a bold words and sometimes it's just shutting up and living.

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  9. Hee hee I couldn't help but to think of the comment I made about worldly music and Katy perry on your IG! I sure hope I didn't come off then like I was pushing my convictions on anyone because I certainly wasn't trying to do that at all! I was simply sharing how that song made me feel. And the only reason I ever share my "opinion" on this subject is because of the knowledge that I have that moves my heart. Kind of reminds me if how you share about modesty. Im a passionate human being no doubt. Just like you. Ephesians 5:11 says " Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." Now by no means should one go about senselessly calling people out, but yeah sometimes you gotta share your thoughts with others. We should never judge, but in love we can drop a bug in someone's ear about something. As far as the music thing goes, there isn't much of an argument that a Christian can put up for the music of certain artists. It's just simply what it is and not so much a matter of opinion at all. Jami, I think your fabulous and I know that so so many women look up to you. Nobody cares about little ol me and what I have to say anyhow! But in your position of influence there is great responsibility. I enjoyed your post and agree. We need to be patient with where everyone is in their walk. So true. Fondly, Heather

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    1. right. i take my influence seriously and believe whole heartedly, that Christ dwells even in the worst of the worst pop songs. either in their depravity they call out for a savior, or most times, they are humans promising things that only god can give. my goal is to EXPOSE the depravity and help people see that the gospel is the only thing that can fill that desire. taking something rotten and turning it for good. it's what God does with us and it is a part of his redemptive work. for some reason i feel called to take a stupid katy perry song and talk about where the cross intersects her words.
      i know we obviously disagree on some of that, but we all have different crowds we speak to and different passions. and the people on my instagram or who read my blog are not all believers, surprisingly. i love using pop music as common ground. i am not afraid of it, i see jesus there. and i hope to show others that there is nothing out of his reach. prostitutes, pop music, hypocrites, you and me. we're all in great need of the cross.

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    2. That was a beautiful explanation Jami! Thank you for sharing that perspective! And indeed we are all certainly in great need if the cross. I am feeling in great need today right this moment. Faced with all sorts of junk in this human heart if mine! I'm gonna go pray now! lol but seriously I am! Have a beautiful day lady!

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  10. I love this. Your heart is always so clearly for Jesus and grace. When I think of grace, I think "that Jami Nato - she gets it." Also have you seen this quote by Bill Johnson? I think it relates a lot to your post: "If I mention I'm a servant of God, some will say they aren't servants, they're friends. If I say I'm a friend of God, some will say they're not friends, they're sons. If I say I'm a son of God, some will say they are not sons, they are part of the bride of Christ. If I say I'm a part of the bride of Christ, some will say they are not, they are a part of the body of Christ on earth. Each point can be successfully argued from scripture. The error is not theological. It is in the heart - it's the inability to recognize and value the lesson another is learning in Christ. The insecure often find their security in having an opinion that differs from others."

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  11. This is SO good. God is working in our hearts but not always on the same thing at the same time and that is where the judgment can begin. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and off of others...comparison is a thief indeed.

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  12. Was this like a 'scripture of the day' somewhere? Because I just read these in Romans today. Somewhere along the way we take the "FREEDOM in christen Jesus" and add chains and a lock until someone conforms to our insights. I like you Jami Nato. I do! Good words!

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    1. Christ! Not christen! You know what I meant :)

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  13. I really needed to hear that, thank you so much.

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  14. Every time I read your blog I am just nodding my head. Yes, yes. We can all be members of the same family even if we do things a little differently. Love this.

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  15. I needed this mirror-in-my-face-gut-punch. I am so annoyed with everyone and their opinions all the time...which is basically because my OWN opinions are displayed so blatantly. Dang that plank. Freedom in Christ, freedom in Christ...thanks lady!

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  16. here is a secret. that I have THE hardest time living this principle out in marriage. it's more clear person to person out in the world, even if you make mistakes. its clear that you should let people walk their own walk. but somehow, I get so tricked into thinking I have more say in my husband's walk. i'm entitled to like 1-15% holy spirit rights, depending on the day, just because we are married. and God has reminded me of this phrase in this verse a lot, "...and stand he will, for I am able to make him stand." God is able. not me. not me. not me. repeating.

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  17. i have no words. this was an awesome read.

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