Thursday, October 5, 2006

Worth Considering

A few points worth considering, which have arisen from a combination of tonight's message at Paradigm, delivered by Cindy Owens (one of our staff at the Baptist Student Union), and this article I found linked from the Boundless Line.

Tonight's message was about honoring God by honoring those around us. The main thrust of Cindy's message was that we really do honor God by treating those around us in a way that is not merely respectful but actually honors them above ourselves (see Philippians 2:3-4, for example, or Ephesians 4:29-32). That includes not only those Christians who it's easy to love, but those Christians it is difficult to love, and non-Christians - both easy and hard to love. Perhaps especially the latter. How much do we do that, both in fellowship with other believers, and in our interactions with others who don't know Christ? And what kind of a difference would it make in our testimony if those around us consistently saw us laying down our lives both for those in our "easy" circles and those in our "hard" circles, if they saw us be servants to all?

On that note, we really ought to consider our relationships with members of the opposite sex with particular care and caution. Dare we treat those relationships lightly? Dare we trouble the waters that are so easily stirred, so easily disturbed? I think that we do far too often, far too callously, and far too unthinkingly. We fail to consider the outcome of our actions or our behavior. Guys, I'm mostly talking to you (though that doesn't excuse girls for the part they play in this): we tend to be the ones who will basically lead a girl on, enjoying the benefits of a particular friendship without any of the consequences of commitment. I personally have had it with that kind of mentality in our culture, and I have every intent of doing whatever God allows me to do to help change it. And that starts with our hearts as followers of Christ, being willing to surrender to Him and do things His way, in His strength, instead of our own. It means abandoning our normal ways of thinking and being renewed in our minds, not conformed to this world's pattern of doing things. It means charting new territory, and honoring the women in our lives - with our actions, and with our inactions; with our words and with our silences. Let's make a change, men. Let's earn women's respect. And let's do it by dealing with our own hearts first and foremost: dedicating ourselves once more to serve them, to live circumspectly with regard to them.

Grace and peace with all of you.

- Chris

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