But First…

Coffee.

Haha! Well yes, there’s coffee. Let’s all take a moment and THANK GOD for coffee.

However, that’s not what this heart ramble is about. {Don’t get me wrong! I have LOTS of heart feels towards this amazing little bean and all it can do!}

Being aware that there are many different folks who read this blog, I will go ahead and tell you that this post is about knowing Christ. If you don’t, I hope you will find Him. {He’s ready when you are.} If you do claim to walk with Jesus and say you’re a Christian, this is about you.

But first, you are a Christian. A Christ-follower. But first, before being a ________ in your job or profession, you’re a Christian. But first, before being a parent, you’re a Christian. But first, before being a family member, you’re a Christian. But first, before being a friend, you’re a Christian. But first, before being a you-name-it {choose your hat}, you’re  a Christian.

To be completely honest, I kinda hesitated with using the term “You’re a Christian” simply because of what our culture has done to this term. Christians can, unfortunately, be seen as some of the most judgmental and unapproachable folks of all time. I am not sure when it happened, but it happened. Some Christians who followed Christ {the very definition of being a Christian} started to become something that Jesus just is not. This is by no means a ‘blanket statement’, and I am most certainly not saying all Christians fall into this. In fact, most of the fellow believers I am honored to know are very much just like Jesus. There are those, however, that say things sometimes about others that make me inwardly cringe. I don’t get it right all the time, either, and have said stuff that I am sure made others cringe. Sometimes, it’s all too easy to merge in the “Lane of Judgement” while judging them for judging! What the SAM! It’s true though, is it not?

A wee little side note about the judgmental piece though: I think a lot of times this isn’t done out of malice. I think it’s done in a similar thought process to this: “THIS IS WRONG! It’s not of God. I don’t know how else to tell this person that this is just YUCK & WRONG and against everything I was taught and know is right from the Word of God, so I’m going to go with my nose up and out and hopefully I won’t be tainted and made into one of them.” I guess you could kind of say it’s like a self-protection mechanism in some cases. It’s absolutely of God and His Word to not be “of”, but “in” the World. Yep! However, sometimes we’re so stuck in our fear-based mindset of “GET AWAY FROM ME, YUCK!” that we fail to reach those who carry it. We’re busy judging and calling out and seeing all the wrong and yuck. When we could be praying and interceding and asking God to change hearts.

Back to But First

I started thinking about this when I was doing something with one of the many irons we have in the fire. One of our many ‘hustles’. Haha! I was moving mountains and getting stuff done. I saw a way that I could shortcut something, but it wouldn’t have been 100% truthful. I mean, I could have sugar-coated it and justified the heck out of it and it would probably would have been fine. But first

“Would the people who see me as a Jesus-follower (aka Christian) still have a good taste in their mouth about Christians if I did _____ this way?” BOOM. That one got me. Those ‘random’ thoughts, I tell you! Especially dealing in a professional environment. Would your co-workers or your supervisor or manager or clients or {you name it} be moved to believe that following Jesus is something real by your actions and behavior? Do you carry heaven in your presence and your actions? So many times, I see this: Folks who are PRAAAIIISING the Lord all day long on a Sunday (seen on social media especially) and then go to work and post stuff about being on their phones at work or doing “anything” but actually working. While on the clock. But….FIRST. If you truly follow Jesus, you cannot separate your relationship with God with ANYTHING else you do. It all goes hand-in-hand. Your relationship with Him will help you do the other stuff well: with integrity and excellence. (If you’re OK with being a crappy employee or stealing time, I’d seriously question why. Why is that ok?)

There’s many other examples we could use here and examine. Family feuds, maybe? {Like real ones}. YEESH! All of it takes second row to what you are and Who’s you are. If you truly do follow Christ, there are many things that will not rest in your spirit, because they are contrary to His will and His way and His Word. But…FIRST.

With every action you take in the world, it’s always in one of two directions. It’s the 1) Yes, I am a Christ-follower and have the integrity of heaven and true righteousness and sometimes hard decisions that comes with that. Or the 2) I’ll do what serves me best and what’s easiest to deal with and has the fastest results.

If only I could {truthfully} say I never lose sight of my But…FIRST and I always go with option 1. Nope. However, the Holy Spirit (which is almost like God’s earthly ‘muscle’) will wrangle me down and that conviction comes like a hurricane. I pray it always does. The goal, as Jesus-followers, is to walk with Him so much and know His voice so well that our “default” will be of God’s kingdom. Our modus operandi {M.O.’s} would be to look more like Jesus than ourselves.

God has been stirring all sorts of stuff up in my heart, and am looking forward to sharing them in the coming weeks. Some funny, some serious, some in-between. Thank you for reading and ‘listening’ to my heart rambles!

 

 

One thought on “But First…

  1. Pingback: But First… | ShellsLife2Share

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