Luke 9:25 “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss
I recently made some decisions in my personal life that have proven to be quite unpopular. That, in and of itself, is not something new for me. Making decisions that no one else agreed with has been sort of a constant in my life. I must admit that, in the past, most of my decisions were really poorly thought out and often were detrimental to my well being. They were often because I wanted my children to think I was a cool mom or I wanted my husband to fulfill my need to feel loved or I wanted women to think I was able to “do it all”.
From the earliest memory of my time in school, I was unpopular. Too smart, too shy, too bookish, too awkward. I had friends because parents made their kids be friends with me because of who my parents were. Birthday parties, school dances, youth groups were all constant painful reminders of my lack of personality, my inability to say witty things. I would raise my hand in class, say what I thought was a profound statement, only to find myself surrounded by humiliating laughter. I would make really dumb decisions because I wanted to fit in.
For many years, I have felt convicted to change my television and movie viewing habits. I would be mortified by what I was seeing or hearing yet lacked the personal strength to get up and walk out or ask that the channel be changed. I would laugh along with everyone else but inside I felt unclean and defiled. I allowed my children to watch heinous violent movies that made my physically ill to even walk through the room. I allowed these events to occur because I didn’t want to be unpopular, especially with my family.
A few weeks ago, I chose not to go to dinner with a friend because it was at a bar and my sweetheart was out of town. It was a wildly unpopular decision, bringing with it some hurt feelings and even a little stress. My decision to not see any movies that are PG13 or R gives rise to uncomfortable awkward moments and a few missed dates with friends. My decision not to watch shows with immorality or crude jokes or disturbing behavior means I watch a lot of Cupcake Wars and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. My decision not to listen to music that has swearing or lyrics about cheating means that I listen to a lot of news or Christian radio.
After reading the scripture in Luke, I also came upon Psalm 101:3. “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless”. If what I am watching, listening to, or attending does not bring value to my quest to become a better daughter of God, it is, in essence, a worthless endeavor. Christ told us through his disciples that we should “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
Are we, in our quest for popularity, allowing ourselves to become unpopular with God? Are we filling our minds up with worthless things, leaving no room for His words, His mercy, His grace? I know that my new life choices are not popular ones. I know that there will be eye rolling and laughter from my family. I know that more than one of my friends will call me a Jesus freak. I know that I will not be cool. I know that there will be times when I get to be alone with my convictions. But I also know that when He wants to sit with me, I won’t have to step out of a place that He wouldn’t be in. When He wants to speak to me, I won’t have to turn down the sound of the world to hear Him. When He wants to come and visit, I won’t have to empty my home of things that He wouldn’t approve of.
Dear friend, do you need the strength to overcome the ways of the world? Joshua 24:15 gives us the clear answer to our search for strength. “Choose this day who you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. You can’t get much clearer than that.
copyright@2012 Michelle Welch, Breath Of Life Women’s Ministry
scripture from the ESV version of the Bible
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