I have noticed something this week, or perhaps it became more apparent. For a long time I have extolled the virtues of being nice. Of making declaration of light and life over situations. I believe it to be the way of the Lord to extend light and the hand of love into situations. It does not mean I am unwilling to have those difficult conversations or address bad behavior. It simply means I believe in Jesus and His teaching. And now I am seeing new results.
Earlier this week while praying for folks, I heard “I am not asking for perfect, I am asking for responsible”. For a few days I have pondered that and realized two things. One, is many people who are not believers think God and the church want them perfect. They predicate this on lots of teaching where the church would say “see this black board? When you get saved, all these things that are written disappear.” They wipe away words like “sin”, “pain” and depending on who you are, all the bad things you might have given them to put there. Then folks get saved and immediately it feels like the count begins in the eyes of believers and of course, God! This brings them to the false truth that God is about rules. Relationship takes a back seat. Two is that they see perfect as the answer to all and when they can not measure up, they check out. Soon the idea that being responsible is not important goes out the window.
(Usually these are directed from a legalistic structure, with the law empowering sin.)
Unfortunately responsibility is something we leave out in the formula too much. We ask for perfection and obedience to what they can not be until they see Jesus. Often until they have an encounter with Him. We demand obedience to rules and to regulations that are not rules but theological thought process.
We have relegated being responsible to some unknown corner, demanding obedience without empowering folks through grace and love. But one must know light and one must know love for their actions to move to follow God.
The word responsible means that one has accountability. They move and accept responsibility. In Christ they begin to develop response-ability. They respond to the goodness of God. For it is the goodness of God that draws folks to repentance. To lay down their wayward ways. To change their minds about who they are and who they have been created to be. To turn away from their sinful ways.
I make it my action to be responsible with my conversations and words, speaking light and life. Reaching out in love. The result is some new and powerful conversations about topics like light, love, healing and more.
Personally, I believe you can empower people with goodness and love. If it worked for Jesus, works for God, then it ought work for us.
The world is seeking identity. How does one know? Just read the number of Facebook posts in response to what “band, Disney Lady, Biblical character, pet, etc. are you?” and how many play them. The desire to label is high. To mark an identity. To establish a value of sorts. (I am not saying they are wrong or not fun, but I am saying click bait is just filling more time and space, while this particular type just shows a trend of not necessarily understanding who you are.)
Here is a value. By accepting Him, you have value. You begin to move on the pathway of seeing what that value is. Who does He say you are? A journey with someone who will never let you down, leave you or forsake you.
God is asking you as a believer to release light and love. To reveal His goodness. And as time goes along there will develop a response-ability. For believers we are drawn and empowered by grace to do. To allow His grace to be released into all the world. Empowered by the Perfect, drawn by His goodness to do great and mighty deeds.
I believe one of the greatest actions that will change our time will be that of being responsible. Responsible in our own lives to what He has revealed. Responsible to our families and friends and soon our communities. Whether it is words, actions or deeds, being responsible changes everything.
I am not asking for perfect. I am asking for responsible.