I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the character of mankind. I’ve struggled with my own character throughout the decades knowing that I never measure up to the standards that a Christian should, I fail God miserably. And yet, He chose to place me in the ministry of His work and set me in places where I’m in the public view, which just makes the guilt that much deeper. I currently serve in a secular position as publisher, publishing news and the sins of others and each time I do, it is not without the sting of my own sin. My conscience sears my soul and says “how dare you cast the first stone.” As you can tell, my soul is raw this morning, telling you the deepest thoughts of my own walk with Christ.
I’ve recently struggled spiritually, and as usual just kept wallowing in my own frustration. I would talk to God in running conversations as I went from one thing to another in the chaos I call life.
The Chaos I Call Life
When I say I have a day long, running conversation with God that is true. It makes me sound wonderfully spiritual. But what that looks like is, me praying over breakfast and adding a few friends into the blessing, driving from one event to the other, talking to God as if He’s sitting in passenger seat, and yet when He’s telling me that breaking the speed limit is a sin and I’m saying, “But God I need a good parking spot.” Our conversations are often, but they are seldom deep, because my mind is filled with chaos. Right now it’s Sunday morning, and on a very, very rare Sunday, I’ve decided to stay home because the chaos is out of control and I needed this conversation with God, and my people. You who read the Jesus Chick and are broken and human like me. And yet in the background I have a house filled with clutter because of a cleaning spree we launched yesterday, three grandchildren dispersed through my living room playing electronic devices, laundry clicking in the washer and dryer, a cat running wide open in front of the dog for tortures sake and someone just said, “What’s for breakfast?”
In the book of Thessalonians, Chapter 2, Paul speaks to his people, the broken and human of that day.
The Character of us All
1 Thessalonians 2:4-12 KJVS
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Each of us are filled with flaws and God knows each and every one of them. Paul said “but God, which trieth our hearts.” When God tries our heart it means He examines it to see the worthiness and intent. None will be found worthy without the blood of Jesus, but when it comes to the intent, what does God do with that? That is where I began to examine myself. It’s not that I am any more worthy than those that I may write a report on. It’s not that those I report on don’t deserve grace and forgiveness. But it is not my grace and forgiveness they should concern themselves with, but God’s. It is not me that tries their heart, but God. Paul tells the Thessalonians, don’t worry about pleasing people, please God. I can be a people pleaser, up to a point, and that point is usually the same point when I struggle with the intent of my heart.
When I see a genuine, repentant soul, who may have committed the worst of all crimes, my heart wants nothing less than grace for them. But when I see an arrogant, self righteous person who does not care who they offend or harm, my intent can go south quickly and I want them to pay. It is those days that I rely on God to remind me of how much I needed grace. Boy…. Do I need grace.
The Chameleon in all of Us
 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
I have a shirt that I created that says “Ridgeview News – Unapologetic Truth.” That is truthfully the reputation I strive for. But it’s a struggle, because the truth hurts! And sometimes it hurts innocent people, like that of families and friends of someone who finds themselves in the news for less than wise behavior. Paul was not a man who sugar coated anything. He shot straight from the hip and never looked back. But most people have a chameleon style life where they wear different coats, (cloaks), for different people and circumstances.
That’s what has happened to our youth and our society. We’ve ruined them by sugar coating any bad decision they make, or excusing bad decisions in the lives of other people until we’re now living in a society that has blurred the line of sin and righteousness. Myself included. When my grand babies were little, I hated to see them get in trouble. I defended them and made light of their “little sins.” Well guess what, I’m reaping what I sowed. Because now that they’re older they still expect Noni to go light on their sins. And I want to put that chameleon coat on that changes to a happy color and make light of what they’ve done because I love them and hate to see them sad. I am for certain a work in progress on this, but I am working on it. I know that when I stand before God, even though I’m forgiven, He is not going to take my sin lightly, even though He loves me.
The Called of Christ
 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.  But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:  So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.  For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.  Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:  As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
In those 7 verses Paul gives so many descriptions of the expectations and responsibilities of a servant of God.
Just as they didn’t strive to please men, they didn’t want men to strive to please them. That’ll preach in a few churches I’ve been to where fancy pants men thought highly of themselves. That’ll preach to me when I get my feelings hurt, and believe me I have. But Paul tells them that he wants to be their nurse, and that makes my heart so happy when I think about the people who have ministered to me in those times of pain and put spiritual salve and bandages on my heart. As a minister of the gospel that is what we need to do more of in this hurting world, we need to heal people with the Word of God. We need to be on guard with our own actions and make sure when we leave the presence of people the words they describe us with are words that would glorify God.
Yes my life is chaos, but I pray my crazy is in the name of Jesus.
Yes I have character flaws, but I pray the cause me to show grace and mercy to all others.
Yes I have a chameleon tendency, but God please strengthen me to live in the unapologetic truth of God.
Yes I am the Called of Christ, called to the ministry of the Jesus Chick, and now the Ridgeview News and I pray that when I speak the truth it is done with the intent of applying a healing balm to to a hurting world.