One of the hardest things to do is break a habit. What’s equally as hard? Beginning a new one. Some habits are flat-out hazardous to our health and well-being but some habits are hazardous to our salvation.
It’s easy to see the bad habits of others (or ourselves) who are endangering their health by alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. We feel convicted to say something. It’s nearly impossible not to tell someone how much damage they’re doing to their bodies as well as others around them. We know good and well that they too are aware of what we just shared with them yet we do it anyway. We’ve seen too many people in our own lives perhaps be negatively affected by these things to stand by idly and keep our mouths shut.
It’s interesting that when we feel so passionate about something, we have no trouble working up the courage to tell everyone exactly how we feel. Except maybe when it’s one of the most important things in eternity – God. Let’s narrow it down – a fellow believer not being a disciple. Woa woa woa, that’s a personal relationship between them and God – not my business…Isn’t it though?
Maybe it’s not your business yet – maybe this is for you.
We go through the motions, the check list of going to church every time we’re “supposed” to – participate in functions that we’d be “expected” to be part of – skim through our devotionals when we remember – this list goes on. If you’re really reading your devotionals and your bible (daily, I hope!) you should be learning every single day. Learning what it means to be a follower of Christ – how to be a disciple.
Going through the motions IS important but if you don’t pair it with more than that? Is it really important? We’ve heard it before – Satan knows the bible and believes in God too. Remember when he tempted Jesus in the desert for 40 days? He quoted scripture to the Son of God Himself.
Discipleship is more than words and appearances to things we “should” be at. Discipleship is actions. Doing what we believe. Committing ourselves entirely, in every aspect of our lives to doing God’s work = discipleship.
Last year my pastor said during a sermon about Habakkuk that “Commitment cannot be based on conditions”. Today he said we needed “Commitment to a sure course of action”.
There must be a costly dedication – actions, not just words to God. We don’t get to have Jesus on our terms but HIS terms only.
What does all that mean? It means being passionate about someone’s health habits can NOT trump our commitment to God. It can NOT trump our dedication and commitment to our own spiritual habits – our discipleship.
To another he said, “Follow me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.
But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
Jesus said to him,
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
How do we set our priorities straight again? I pray that you will have a group of friends who love you enough to pray with you and to help you through it. Part of spiritual growth is your church family. When you’re struggling and lost, you need an extra prayer or two. You need those people to pick you up and say let’s do this together – I feel you.
You start with your spiritual gifts. If you’re not using them, you’re blowing it. (paraphrase from my pastor again) Don’t know what those are? In a nutshell, things you’re good at – passionate about. Caring, merciful, patient. They can be the first steps to finding discipleship with others.
At the end of your life, what will people know you for? Will people believe without a doubt that you loved God as much as you feel you do? If not, it’s time to fix that! Not for them but for Him. Why would you keep this exuberant relationship hidden in the depths of your heart? Be the light.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand,
and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works and
give glory to your Father who is in heaven.