Being a Christian is frustrating. Being a Christian can be frustrating.
Being a Christian can be frustrating at times*
It bothers me when I feel alone in my walk. When I feel like the people around me aren’t being changed by the very thing that changed me. When I see my family, friends or love ones abandon their faith when things don’t go “their way.” When I see them waste all their time and energy into things that don’t matter…
IT. BOTHERS. ME.
And let me preface: I’m not bothered because I think I’m better than anyone. I’m not bothered because I think I have all the answers. I’m bothered because I once too was that person. I once too was that young girl thinking she had it all figured out; thinking God and Christianity was “doing too much.” Thinking that faith was just something I’d flirt with my entire life until I got everything I wanted and never fully embrace it.
And before you stop reading because you think this doesn’t matter or pertain to you, let me set the stage as to why it does.
1 Subconsciously it’s discouraging.
You’d be surprised at how often the small, tiny things chip away at our faith. We see others living their lives without all of the “extra-ness” our faith comes with. We see them not taking their faith as seriously as we do and they seem to be doing just fine. (especially with all of the fake-ness social media has introduced, but that’s a wholeeee different blog post)
They fully embrace all the things we as believers reject on a daily basis and next thing you know, we’re feeling some type of way. We’re back to ignoring our faith and embracing our own desires.
2 It doesn’t allow us to act out of compassion.
When I’m bothered by the things others do/ don’t do I don’t want to be bothered with them. It’s that simple. I can’t be this “fisher of men” Jesus was if I’m frustrated by the very people I’m called to impact.
3 It makes my faith quiet.
When I have an attitude that “no one will listen anyway,” “no one cares about this stuff” it defeats the purpose of being a believer. I’m putting more faith in what I think than God. My words lose power. I then become quiet and our faith is not meant to be quiet or private. It’s meant to be loud and shared with the world.
Don’t be bothered, be burdened
I’ve come to realize that believers know the truth. This truth gives us an awareness, a perspective on life that is very different from the people we’re surrounded by. Things are way more serious than they may seem to be to others. We pick up on certain words and behaviors that bother us because of what we know they lead to.
Through some recent experiences God had to show me that he didn’t call us to be bothered, he called us to be burdened. Let’s take a look in the scriptures:
Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The scripture is telling us first to take his yoke,
Yoke: a harness or collar typically used on animals to attach them to the plow or cart that they are to pull.
He’s saying let me be your new master. Take your orders, take the work I have made for you to do. As believers who wish to impact the people in our lives, we suffer when we operate out of our own desire to see people change. That’s not allowing God to be our master. That’s us being our own masters. Taking orders from ourselves.
and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.
Learn MY way, how I do things. For I am gentle …I am not like your previous masters. I am gentle and humble.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Burden: a load, a duty, a nuisance, a trouble
Light: in weight, agile, not burdensome, or overbearing
The burden or work God has for you won’t cause you to feel bothered. Won’t cause you to want to give up on people because they seem hopeless. But it will burden you. It may burden you to wake you up in the middle of the night to pray for them. It may burden you to spend more time with them. It just may burden you so much so that even when that person rejects or gets an attitude with you, you will continue to endure like Jesus did:
Hebrews 12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I also had to realize:
I am not the Christ. I am not the person that came to save anyone. I am simply the person that can introduce them to the one who can. I am here to remind them of God. To help lead them…to him.
My expectations vs. God’s expectations. When I’m being “results driven” when sharing the gospel with people it makes me focus on the part God handles, instead of the part he left me to handle.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Only God knows the plans, the unique experiences each and every person must face to bring us to his expected end.
So for that friend you want to see changed, that husband you want to see delivered; that parent you want healed, all have unique things they have to go through to be brought to Christ. Only God knows those things.
Our job is to be so connected to God that every interaction, every word spoken, every supportive thing we do for those people must have God’s orders written all over it.
So remember when you find yourself bothered by a person who “ain’t living right.” A person who you see making the same mistakes you did. The person who you see drowning but don’t want to be rescued, remember you’re not bothered, you are burdened. Burdened because there’s something you can do to help. Pray, fast, dig in that word and get your orders from God.
Hope you’re encouraged by this message. Feel free to share, social media-ize it, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
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