“I admire a woman who knows when silence is golden, and when it is just plain yellow”
I love this quote, an excerpt from an uncredited poem I found in an old Amish cookbook.
I seek balance between golden and yellow every day. Pray for wisdom. Ask for boldness. Recognize the need for humility. And then, when the Holy Spirit leads me to the truth – I want to scream it into the faces of people I know and love until they get it, until they see what I see.
As an aside, I’ve never actually tried that approach, but I haven’t ruled it out yet either
I am the church. Me. Myself, the holy temple. You and I, we are the church. We are the body. When we say or think that the church ought to be doing something, what we really say or think, whether aware of it or not, is I should be doing something. You and I should be doing something. We the body should be doing something. Never “they”. “They” is we. “They” is I.
Church is family. I remember a time when family was commitment. When we chose a partner and had a family that stayed together no matter what. Shouldn’t our church family be the same way? Should we break up with our church when the worship format changes, when a newer, cooler church comes along, when our pastor offends or lets us down? Just like in marriage, rare exceptions exist that are cause for separation. As for me and my house (under the leadership of my husband), we are committed to our church for better or for worse. After all, as we go, so goes the church, since we ARE the church.
The church gives. That commonly gets translated into the “I” notion mentioned above, but here I present just the opposite. Yes, I am called to give recklessly, knowing that what I have is God’s and He will provide for me. But “We” the church seem to operate a bit more cautiously. “We” should give extravagantly of everything we have been given. “We” should trust that God will provide. Every resource we have should be depleted, used to accomplish the work our Father has called us to do. We should crawl over the finish line and say “Race over. I am finished” and have absolutely nothing left to give.
Then I consider the unpopular idea of praying for our enemies. Not like our “frenemies”. Not the soccer mom with the new SUV and better hair. Not our least favorite in-law or the nasty bank teller or even someone who has genuinely wronged us and caused us loss, although we should love and pray for those people. However, I’m talking about real enemies. I’m talking about terrorist suicide bombers who destroy entire communities of innocent women and children. God tells us to love them. I’m talking about dictators and armies and corrupt governments – our own and others. God tells us to love them. It doesn’t seem like my screaming approach works on these enemies. Reading my Bible reminds me that God’s approach is to Love Them. His approach has a 1000% success rate compared to my own feeble attempts to impress upon others the Wonders of His Love.
Speaking of frenemies, I recently had a run in with legalism. One mom made a casual comment about something innocuous she doesn’t permit in her home, putting every other mom in the uncomfortable position of disagreeing or keeping quiet (or agreeing. I didn’t really think about if anyone agreed). It’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to be different. It’s ok to agree. It’s even ok to share many common opinions, but we need to avoid legalism, even the appearance of it, not least of all among ourselves. We are meant to be encouragers. Keep that filter on.
Lastly, God means to draw us to him. Despite our best intentions, pushing people to Christ has not historically been the most successful approach. If we are the city on a hill, people won’t be able to resist the call of Christ. It is He in us who will bring hearts to God. All we have to do is let Him be the light that shines within.