First, we survived the storms! And the lights didn't even go out, woohoo!
I have been contemplating the philisophical lately. I realize I tend to cloud the issues, complicate things that shouldn't be all that contemplated. So bare with me as I try to get through my quagmire of a brain to the heart of the matter.
I have been in the 'workforce' for 9 years now. I have worked with most every type of individual there is, and have learned a great deal about life in these years. It is hard not to go into details, you never know who will stumple upon this and be like, 'That's me!!'
Anyway, I think I am tired of the world. I am tired of sin. I am tired of being different. I am tired of people thinking I am crazy because I don't go out drinking with them. Maybe I am a prude, I don't know, but I just wasn't raised that way and I don't think I should be judged by my lack of alcohol consumption. I have as much right to obstain as you have to drink. I don't condemn those that do, but I still stand out like this sore thumb.
Then again, aren't we supposed to stand out? Aren't we supposed to be different? God never said to 'blend in' but to be a light. But I don't want to use my anti-alcohol status as my religious statement either. There are alot of good Christian people I know who drink occassionally, and that is completely between them and God. Not my place to judge.
So why I am marked because of this? It might be that I don't really care to go partying with them (the only only sober person in a group?? No thank you! Been there, done that, and didn't care for it!) And they think, oh, Krista is that stupid christian woman that won't even have a little fun, which is far from true. I love to have fun... but I like to KNOW when I am acting like a fool, not to wake up the next morning wondering just how foolish I was!
Argh! It could also be because I CAN'T go out with them. I am a working mother. I work 8-10 hours a day, then come home and put on my mommy hat. I put the kiddos to bed and put on my writers hat. I just don't have the energy to put on a 'non-alcoholic with a bunch of bingers party hat'.
I guess I am just tired. Tired of working (although that is nothing knew, and bills have to be paid!) Tired of watching every word I say, tired of having to be politically correct, tired of having to figure out what each person needs of them, and being to them what they need. I am the manager, I take that as my job, but it is hard, and I think I am failing miserably some days!!
So, I guess the question is a few things. First, how can we be a light for Jesus, but not have the focus be on the 'not-as-important' convictions we have, such as no drinking/smoking/premarital sex? And second, what are the things we want people to see in us? How SHOULD we ALL be different?
I am going to take a stab at answering, but I know I don't have the complete answer yet. I think alot of it boils down to love. No matter our personal convictions or arguments over the rudements of the 'thou shalt not's', Love always remain. Jesus said it was most important, and I am inclined to agree. No matter what we say or do, people should always see Jesus' love in us.
It is most certainly not 'loving', nor effective, to flaunt your non-alcohol convictions in non-christian's face. That doesn't mean that we have to give up those convictions though.
We show love by caring, being helpful, and taking the servent attitude just as Christ demanded.
I think the other things are common sense as well. We need to rise above, and put away petty jealousy, one-up-man-ship, revenge (ohhhhhhh, that is a good one!), and gossip... (that is a good one too...)
Ok, out of those, the two I struggle with most would be revenge and gossip. Not gossiping is just plain hard. Maybe not for some people, but there is a fine line between discussing a situation you are facing with a peer for input, and from gossiping about someone who did you in, or someone who is being mean. I know for sure I have to work on this. I fail daily.
Revenge is also a fun one. I don't see myself as vengeful, but my goodness it is a struggle!! When someone does me wrong, what do you do?? It is hard, because there are times when what they have done is wrong and needs to be addressed, but there is a part of me at times that wants to make it an issue out of pure revenge, which is very wrong. It is subtle, and I tell myself I am not doing it, but deep down, I know my true motives and am ashamed.
So there are my confessions. I have things to work on, and will do so.
Ok, I also promised I would keep these short and I utterly failed today. I'll give myself a long blog indulgence once in a while I guess.
I don't know that I have any answers yet, but I think the key is love. and the key is Jesus. Krista is reaching the end of her strength, but God has plenty, so I think I'll just borrow some of his.