Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Do you have a before & after?

The daily email from (Girlfriends in God) from today was really good.

Here's an excerpt:

We need to remember that our attitudes and conversations give off a smell as well. The apostle Paul said, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16a, emphasis mine).

Does your attitude give off an aroma of Christ? Are those around you drawn to Him as a result of the love and peace you display? Do your conversations consistently honor God, embody the fruit of the Spirit, and expel the fragrance of life...or are they sometimes laced with bitterness, resentment, anger, complaining, and gossip? It's time to locate and throw away our stinky, sour sippy attitudes, and ask the Lord to renew our minds. Let's run the race before us as women of honor who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, give off an aroma of Christ.

What does your attitude, your behavior, your love for others (or lack of), your conversations (in person, on your blog, your emails, etc.) say about Christ? Whether or not you know it -- there are eyes watching you. Whether or not you know it - you represent Christ to others if you're a christian.

When we look and examine our actions, attitudes and hearts --- we should ask ourselves -- would Jesus ever treat people the way I do? Would He have this attitude? Would He hold this grudge? Would He write, or say, these words?

OF COURSE we're going to mess up. Of course we'll never be perfect - but following Him is our goal and wanting to be like Him is our mission, right?

The next email I got fit perfectly into this theme (as usual). It was a Purpose Driven email from Jon Walker. He writes:

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Romans 6:18 (NIV) .... prodigal return was realizing I still had a choice, starting with the foundational choice that “I can’t, but God can.”

.....I finally believed my freedom of choice left me free not to sin. I did not have to sin; I could choose not to sin. I am free from sin, not free from temptation, but free from the slavery of sin that kept me chained to ungodly choices.

....Jesus broke the power of sin in your life, and he’s empowered you, through the Holy Spirit, to make the right, corrective, godly choices.

So are we living that out? Are we letting Jesus have the power in our lives? Are there areas of your life that haven't changed from before you knew Christ? Do you hold grudges, name call, accuse, gossip, lash out in your anger or hurt? Do you find yourself always worrying about protecting yourself, your reputation, your hurt, what you deserve? Are you more concerned with yourself and your life than others?

Jesus's love is life changing. This love changes us. I remember how excited I was when I finally realized I didn't have to be the same old me!!!! I could be free from me! It's not immediate - this is not an overnight thing --- it takes time... and yes we WILL always mess it up and fall back to our old sins...... BUT do we listen to the Spirit when He is convicting us of our sin? Are we aware of our sin? Are we asking for help for our sinful areas? Do we WANT to be changed? Do we want to be a new creation or are we happy with the way we were --- because it's comfortable, safe and familiar?

I want to exude a new aroma than I always was. Above all else - I just want my aroma to be of love. I am a terrible sinner and mess up a lot - but if there's any area that He has changed me in a LOT it's the way I deal with others. It's my unconditional love of people. It's relationships. It's learning how to have mercy. It's learning to see value in EVERY person. It's learning to show people that they are so valuable and worth listening to. It's being able to see all perspectives but staying true to my convictions. It's learning how to let the Spirit control my emotions and bite my tongue a lot. a LOT. These are areas He has changed in me.

I want people to see my love for God - I want people to see my love for others above myself. I want to be able to look at my life and see a lot of before & afters. I want God's beautiful, pure aroma of love to always overpower my sour one.


Jan Parrish said...

Great, encouraging post. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Candy said...

Great post Randi.
I have to agree, you are really good at loving others and biting your tongue and staying true to your convictions.
I have been challenged in tis area the last few days. Its taking everything in me to bite my tongue LOL Thanks for the encouragement!

candy :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Randi--Your bar for yourself is really high--higher than the bar Jesus set for you. Not sure but think that can be dangerous at times. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are indeed a wonderful encourager!

Randi Jo :) said...

thanks so much ladies! I appreciate you coming by :)

Minnow --- I guess it's a personality thing --- I enjoy having the bar set high because I know He's worthy of it and I know He will catch me when I fall. I realize I will always fail but I'm a driver and since I will not be a success in this world - I want to be a success in His eyes. He has given me a lot of time since I am "just" a mom & wife so I realize during this time my 'job' is to work on getting better daily and letting Him change me more every day! :) I don't think Jesus has any bar set at all --- higher or lower than my own :)

thanks again love u each

Allison said...

Randi--I love your site and your music. You are an awesome person and I look forward to getting to know you more. Being a good homemaker definitely doesn't define you, I agree.Catch you later.