In the Church, but Not of the Church

Light HouseIn John 17:16, Jesus said those who follow Him are not of the world as he is not of the world. Although we are in the world as His followers, we are not of this world in terms of the values and standards that stand in contrast or opposition to the kingdom of God.

As a follower of Jesus living in the world, you should focus on living out and displaying the qualities of the One you are following, Jesus Christ.

We often are concerned, disappointed or discouraged when we see people in the church who are speaking and acting in ways that do not reflect what we know the Church as the Body of Christ is to be: Christ-centered, loving God and others.

When Your Desire to be Faithful is Overtaken by Your Desire to Win

Winning at all costsThe desire to win is natural to humans; we can see this trait from the early stages of childhood.

Toddlers fight because they need to win, although they do not know that is what they are doing. We become adults and continue to fight to win, but we tend to be more subtle about it now that we can rationalize why we need to win.

Whether vying for a toy, a position, a desired outcome, or just being right, we want to come out on top; we want to win.

We adults can be manipulative: we may lie or deliberately withhold the whole truth. We may use power to control, or words to cut down others. Some may use physical intimidation or abuse to win.

Is Jesus a Kill-Joy?

Leap joyIn the story of the rich young ruler, Jesus tells him to go and sell everything, give the money to the poor, and follow Him. The young man left very sad because his riches meant more to him than following Jesus.

Jesus also said to follow Him we must be willing to hate/give up the most important relationships in our lives. By Jesus’ own clear instructions, we are told we should not allow anything (riches) or anyone (parents, spouse, siblings, etc.) to stand between us and our relationship with Him.

Jesus wants our undivided, uncompromising focus and attention.

Does this mean Jesus wants to be a kill-joy in our lives? The answer is, No! Rather, Jesus declares that if we make our relationship with Him our priority, we will discover how to best enjoy the good things and the many relationships of this life.

How to Let Others Know the Real You

Real youDuring the past two weeks, we have being exploring the question, “Do Others Know the Real You?” If you missed the last two blogs, I suggest you read them because they explored the importance of first knowing yourself, and then fully accepting and embracing who you are. This week we will consider how to you let others know the real you.