Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shortcomings examined

I am a Christian. I believe in God and that Jesus Christ died for our sins. I attend church when I can, I read the Bible and I pray. However when looking at this list I realize that I am not doing what the Lord calls me to do in spreading the Gospel. I go around proclaiming I am a Christian but I fail to defend my faith or even talk about it. The reason is I am a wimp. I can praise the Lord all day long but what good am I if I freeze up in discussions about God? What kind of disservice am I doing when I keep quiet and do not say anything? Of course there are reasons why people are cautious. I want to know how to overcome these.

One reason I get nervous is because I work in a politically correct workplace. It is gotten to the point where if you mention the name of Jesus or talk about religion there is the possibility of getting called into your boss's office or being reported to HR. Now I will be honest and say I have not experienced it myself but I have seen too many cases where someone has been reported. So here is the dilemma I struggle with. Do I proclaim God's word at work with that chance of getting fired? Do I need to throw more caution to the wind and just do it regardless of consequences? Right now I am the only one working so is it worth the risk to do that and possibly lose my job while we are in a recession? Many people would suggest here that I don't have faith in the Lord and that I am putting Him in a box. Maybe I am being selfish because while I may lose my job I won't lose my life like our brothers and sisters in other countries. But I will be honest and say losing my job is not something I want to do.

Another issue I struggle with is that I seem to censor Ricky while we are in public. We will get into discussions on religion and politics. The problem is that his voice carries. I mean you could hear it from the other side of a restaurant or store if he gets wound up. So I tell him to keep it down. Not because I think what he is saying is wrong but because it sounds like we are hateful bigots. I know that is not the intention of his words but he can be quite volatile when he starts speaking of our current president and political issues. Some comments made make me cringe because they sound downright rude. But we do have free speech so I am not trying to say he does not have a right to speak but I have a belief that there is a time and place for everything. But am I wrong? Would speaking about current issues make people more aware? Is it appropriate to bring up a religious or political debate at a dinner party or a child's birthday? (These scenarios really did happen) Are we being wimps by trying to keep the peace or are we being correct in letting people know the truth?

Here is the worst thing I have done when getting into a discussion with someone that has different views or is not a believer. I have wimped out and said "I respect your opinion" and leave it at that. I have downplayed my OWN faith as not to offend someone. I personally think that is the worst witness of the gospel and anyone who has done that should repent of that immediately. I took advice from a friend. He chastised me and told me I was being too harsh when I spoke of the Lord. He also told me to tone the beliefs downs as not to stir controversy. I agree with the first part of the criticism but not the second. I know in order to win people to Christ you have to do it in such a way that is effective. I think feeding fluff to the masses is very dangerous. Condemning people to hell at first conversation doesn't cut it either. There has to be a better way than what we are doing.

So I will pray that I can be a stronger witness for Christ by working on my shortcomings mentioned here. I am honest about these because I can look back and know what needs to be shaped.

Lord I ask for your forgiveness at my shortcomings. I ask for strength as I go out and proclaim the Good news that I won't back down and will be Your faithful servant. In Jesus Name, Amen.

1 comment:

Maria Karalus-Hass said...

Hey I know your position, and it is tough. May I encourage you to know that God doesn't want you to lose your job right now, and that there is more to sharing your faith in the workplace with words... words are empty if there is no joy and peace behind it, the evidence of a trust in a real God. But I do think that in being polite and non-offensive Christians have forfeited completely their freedom of speech. Anyone else can say atrocities and it's their freedom, we mention anything that sounds RIGHT and we are bigots and close-minded. Oh well. Our silence has brought nothing but tremendous losses of national ground. We need to speak up.