Monday, September 15, 2014

You Don't Know Me...

Last weekend I went to a social gathering for a singles group that I joined at my church. Prior to going, I really didn't know what to expect. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend that didn't mind tagging along with me, so it wasn't too awkward. The night was...interesting. I'm not sure how else to describe it. Very rarely am I speechless about something, but I'm just not sure how I felt about the night. It could be the fact that I'm just super uncomfortable around a group of new people in a small setting. I will examine that more at another time.

While we were there we meet a guy that seemed to be a genuinely nice person. He had a lot of questions about our career paths and college. You know all of the awkward getting to know you conversation starters. At one point he mentioned a gospel artist (I know this now after some research) and my face probably showed that I had no idea who he was referring to. His response is something that stayed with me for the rest of the night and clearly prompted this post. He said "You don't know who he is?" I immediately started to replay the name to make sure that he didn't say Jesus or any of the Apostles. That would have been really bad if I didn't recognize those names! ;-) He then says "This makes me question what type of music you listen to..."I will say that I don't think his intent was to make assumptions about me, so I wasn't upset by the comment. However, this two minute exchange made me ponder a few things: 1) the concept of worldly things and 2) approaching topics with strangers.

These two topics have been on my mind a lot lately as I know that we are called to help build disciples and this entire blog is based on my journey through this world. The whole idea of things being of this world or worldly is fairly new to me. The actual definition is of or pertaining to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc. I get this concept as I'm learning that we shouldn't be too focused on things that are worldly because they are temporary. We are to focus on Jesus because He brings eternal life. Disclaimer: Please remember this isn't a teaching blog, it is my journey and my documentation of my walk with Christ.  God wants us to be at peace here on earth but that isn't the ultimate goal or the ultimate best that He has for us. At this point in my life I know that I want to live a certain way. It isn't because I know a set of rules that I am suppose to follow but it is because I know that someone paid a very high price for me and in return I owe Him my life. Not out of obligation but out of love, the same love Jesus showed on the cross. But whenever the term or concept of worldly is used it reminds me that there is a clear separation and I can't walk along the line. If I use this word to describe things, it will never be because I think I'm better than someone else...we are ALL sinners and it is to my understanding that God sees all sin the same. We (humans) decided to label which sins are better than others. I am at a point in my journey where I am listening to songs and watching TV shows and thinking to myself "nope, probably shouldn't listen to that." I know that I have to be mindful of what I see and what I hear. But I also think that determining what is okay for me to watch and listen to has to be a personal decision that I make with God. Things that tempt me to fall off my path may not be the same for someone else.

So what did this conversation with this young man have to do with anything in this post? His approach. A lot of people can be turned off by people that seem to portray their way as better than someone else's. I don't think we should tip toe around the truth that comes from the bible, but we have to remember that Jesus always operated in love. Our God is a God of love. At that moment it wasn't the right time to "question the music I listen to..." he could have said "Man, it's this really great gospel singer--maybe you know the song" or "you should really check him out." Boom- in that moment I would have learned a new artist and this post could have been about another topic. In that moment I tuned him out and begin my infamous smile and nod. He lost a moment to share...

Will I go to another singles event...of course. But I can't pretend to be something that I am not. There are a lot of things that I don't know about the Gospel and this life. I want to learn and I want to be around people that will allow me to learn in a comfortable environment. Speak the truth but also try to get to know me; my path.

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