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Friday, January 24, 2014

Miranda Rights...

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

Most days I feel as if these should be read to me before I state any of opinion of mine. Just to serve as a little reminder that people are listening to everything I do and don't say. Sometimes it feels like that I'm under a microscope and even when I'm learning, people are listening and interpreting as me being a hypocritical. Is there such a thing as a hypocrite? Let's check this out..

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!" (Matthew 23:13-15)

Wow. This is Jesus talking and he is calling these "teachers of religious law," hypocrites! This gives us a view of what a hypocrite looks like. It's might be like: Sharing scripture and not following it themselves, praying in the open for people to consider them as "holy," or they might even be more worried about getting people to Jesus instead of strengthening their relationship with Jesus! This is exactly what this scripture is saying, but I want to dig a wee bit deeper. What about learning? At what point do we stop learning and start realizing that we are "messing up?"

I know I've messed up a lot in my life even though I'm only 20, but I've learned from those mistakes. I was just about to say that I'm not one to complain, but that would be a lie. I want to believe that I only complain when it's for a valid reason which isn't a real good excuse, but sometimes I need to "vent." I just have to be real careful who I vent to. I've learned that I can easily become one of these "hypocrites" if I talk to the wrong person at the wrong time. Like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I've messed up a couple times but I don't think that makes me a completely hopeless cause! 

This has been something that has been ringing in my head for awhile, and maybe you can help me evaluate this. What happens when you really do want to change your ways? Of course, Jesus will forgive you.. but what about the world? It's something that I'm actually struggling with right now. I have to live with the views of certain people because of the choices that I made last year, but sometimes I think that those views just only bring me back to square one. It's literally like everything that I say "can and will be used against me!" When does it stop mattering? When will I be able to move on without this attachment of guilt and grief on my back? When will people realize.. better yet, my fellow Christians realize that not only has Jesus forgiven me, but I have forgiven myself? 

I can say all day long that their words won't hurt me, but they do. I don't want to believe that they get some sort of joy out of this, but they aren't stopping! If you see someone that is hurt and frustrated, it doesn't make you any better or bigger of a person to point that out to the world. Because eventually... One day... You will feel regret for the way that you treat people and I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't want the same frustration that I'm going through right now. 

Conclusion to this story... I'm going to quote one of my biggest role models of all time, Rob Bell. He was a pastor of a huge church (about 10,000 people in one service) and he was finding some strange things occurring after worship as people were exiting the parking lot. This was how he started worship one Sunday:

“So I stood up one Sunday and said ‘If you are here and you aren’t a Christian, we are thrilled to have you in our midst. We want you to feel right at home. But if you are here and you’re a Christian and you can’t even be a Christian in the parking lot, please don’t go out into the world and tell people you're a Christian. You’ll screw it up for the rest of us. And by the way, we could use your seat.’

Chew on that...

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