Courtesy and Christianity

courtesy and christianity_ModelMeGirlCourtesy and Christianity do mix. I may add quite well, too. The Word of God calls us to be courteous. Why does it seem like we forget this part of our walk in holiness?

Being saved and boasting that you are blessed and highly favored is not permission to be rude. There are so many rude “Christians” in the church house. So many who are not kind, who do not esteem others better than themselves, and who actually worship at the “altar of me, myself, and I.”

Courteous: Respect and gracious consideration towards others; politeness; kindness; display of polished or good manners

It’s amazing to see seasoned (s)aints, mothers of the church, pastors, bishops, elders, deacons, praise teams, ushers, choir directors, musicians, and bench warmers not understand what piety, kindness, and politeness means. But you’re on your way to heaven anyhow, right?

These are stumbling-blocks, offenses to the Body of Christ. We should all make it a daily habit to look in the mirror, the perfect law of liberty, and see ourselves for who and how we really are.

Are you rude? Are you unkind? Are you impolite? If so, why? Are you hurt, angry, bitter, feeling empty?

On a personal note, when I caught myself being discourteous or rude in the past, God humbled me to see that the problem was me, not the other person or the situation. I am in charge of my actions and reactions. In the moments we feel angry or hurt, all we see is our own feelings, and it’s hard to see from the perspectives of others.  But if we just pause for a moment, we give ourselves room to make a better decision; to choose a better reaction; to maintain our integrity and be courteous.

Check It

If ill feelings are left unchecked, a root of bitterness will spring up, and this feeds rudeness, unkindness, and discourtesy. At the end, it chokes out your love, and you find yourself with a personality known as being rude, or as that angry girl or bitter woman.

Let us uncover the root of our unkindness and discourtesy in the church, and treat the problem, not just the symptoms. We can only treat this sickness with the power of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps we need a revival. A refreshing.

Good manners and courtesy is Scripture. With love, don’t leave them off.

No Performers, Just Worshippers

I have a wise mother. Beautiful, Holy Ghost filled, and the meekest human I know. She blessed me one day when she shared what God told her a long time ago,

“I am not looking for performers. I am looking for worshippers.”

I often share this life-giving word with friends, especially those who have gifts that put them in the front of crowds.

On a personal note, I am an instructor and community health educator, which always puts me before large groups of people to speak and demonstrate. I am a singer/songwriter and spoken word artist. I often sing original songs of worship and praise at churches, as well as recite original poetry at special events. The words my mother shared with me helps to keep pride away, and refreshes the necessity of authenticity in the forefront of my mind.

Not Impressed

God is not impressed with how flawless your presentation is, but rather if it is done in Spirit and in truth. This is how we worship Him. You can be the best singer in the world, and even cover a song about Jesus, and yet you can walk off the stage without God having been glorified, and in His eyes you walk away unrecognized. Why? Because you can do things for selfishness, seeking vain glory. For you. In that moment you already have your reward. Applause. And it’s not His.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

When I talk about impression management, God reminds me that man is interested in manipulating and controlling how others think of him by shaping his own performance to get a desired response. But all that shaping may not be real. It may be a carefully constructed act, with all the props, costumes, and memorized lines. It may be everything to make for a successful, flawless performance, but it is rooted in lies and a lust for attention.

What God Wants

God wants us to simply be loving, truthful, merciful, righteous, forgiving, and authentic in Him and with others. This can only be done with the power of God dwelling on the inside. Pretending to be something you’re not while singing a spiritual song makes you a performer. Singing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, painting a picture, etc., for the applause of man makes you a performer.

If we would spend more energy applying God’s Word so we can be acceptable in His sight, we’d see we cannot control what others think of us no matter how hard we try. We should remind ourselves to not perform for a crowd, but to use our gifts to edify one another and to glorify God.

Beloved, ask yourself these questions. Do you allow God to use you? Or do you use God by propping up yourself on a Christian platform?

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

no-performers-just-worshippers

Let’s Start With You

Let’s talk relationships, and let’s start with you.

I’m endeared to the words, “righteous” and “righteousness” because they denote a right standing or right relationship — first with God, followed with self and others. Yes, you need to have a right relationship with yourself. This involves learning to be humbleminded and recognizing your value to God and the body of Christ. It’s equally important to see the need to cherish your physical body, guard your heart, and protect your mind from toxic culture. In this, you treat yourself right.

The Bible instructs us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is not the same as the ungodly pursuit of being lovers of self. As I like to put it, so full of self-adoration and pride that you see no one of importance other than you.

When we mistreat others, it says a lot about how we feel about self. The way I learn to love me is through allowing the love of God to abide in me and be shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost, and spending intimate time with God. From there, I experience His love and am compelled to share the same love with others.

Can you see this is about personal experience? Experiencing the love of God and sharing it in all the many creative and godly ways possible?

There are many women and girls who have been socialized to believe to love or care for ones self in a modest and respectable way, is selfish and irresponsible. We destroy our bodies by allowing them to be used. We give the keys to our hearts, minds, and emotions to those whose only intention is to bring us harm.

mirror-mirror-identity-crisis

 

There is a difference between suffering for the name of Jesus and just suffering in vain because a woman or girl has no sense of self-worth and has lost her identity in the maze of life.

I am very concerned about women and girls who have lost their identities, for an abundance of reasons. I know that the most important thing to realize is our identity in Christ. But God is a wise God. He used analogies showing agriculture to teach spiritual lessons, for example. Sometimes we must use our identity naturally so, in order to understand the precious identity we are able to have in Jesus.

So many times I’ve heard women say, “I don’t know who I am. I lost my identity somehow, and I feel like I’ll never find it.” Oh, beautiful and beloved ones, we are in the midst of an identity crisis in and outside the church house.

We must begin at the beginning to uncover why we are in this position. We must make time to fix the breaches in our relationships with God, self, and others.

In the fastpaced lives we live and onslaught of social media that produces less time for face-to-face interaction, it’s easy to become too busy, too apathetic, and too superficial to enjoy whole and honest relationships with others. We tweet a Bible verse and this is our Word for the entire day. We like a status about the goodness of Jesus, and we feel satisfied.

Is this enough? What’s a girl to do?

Here Am I! Send Me!

Send Me

Before you can be sent, you have to be available, willing and ready. The declaration of, “Here am I,” means just that.

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

God is not going to make anyone live for Him or surrender to Him. These are choices. If you’re on the path of resisting God, or if you’ve backslidden and have found yourself running far away from everything and everyone that remind you of holiness, this is your day to make a new choice. Yes, sometimes people in the “church” can hurt; but forgiveness is the will of God. I am a witness that God can and does heal all manner of hurt.

You can change your mind, change your life, and ultimately your destiny.

Send Me

One of the reasons people are hesitant to “be sent” is because they may have to go alone. Your family and friends may not be on the same path as you. For many, this thought can be discouraging. But you must make up in your mind to go where God wants you to go; even if it means going alone.

We sing a song in church that says, “Imma go if I have to go by myself.” If mother, father, sister, brother, neighbor, or friend doesn’t go for Jesus — you go. Follow Christ to the end. Go on. Model Him, girl.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Hate is used here to mean to love less than, forsake or abandon. Jesus is saying, if you don’t love other people less than Him, or are not willing to forsake or abandon them and even your own life, you cannot be His disciple. Why? Because you are to put no one and no thing before Him. Anything placed before Him is idolatry. And yes, dear. This means you cannot love your boyfriend or husband more than Jesus.

Think About It

Are you available, willing and ready to go for Jesus?