Last week I did something thoughtless and stupid. Yeah, I know, big surprise, right? In the spur of the moment, joking around, I posted something online about a friend of mine. I didn't think of asking for their permission and didn't stop to consider the consequences. The next day I got a message from them mentioning how I didn't ask for permission. I know this person well enough to know that even if though it appeared that they were joking, there were still some deeper truth to their statement. For the rest of the day I was upset with myself. I had done something that could put a wedge in our relationship. I was very worried that I offended them. Unfortunately, I couldn't remove what I put online until late that night so all day long thoughts were running through my mind.
I finally got home after 9:00 at night and called the person to apologize as well as remove the online post. After doing that, I got to thinking. Why did this affect me so much. All day long I couldn't help but worry about the damage I might have done to our relationship. Something was bothering me though. This was a dear friend but certainly not the most important relationship in my life. My most important relationship is with Jesus Christ. But when was the last time I was this concerned about whether or not I hurt Jesus by my actions. Do I recognize when I've done something to damage my relationship with Him? Am I concerned about how quickly I can repair the damage I've done when I sin? After an honest assessment, I have to confess that I do not. A man who died for me, a man who went through unspeakable torture for me, and yet I just take it for granted that He is not affected when I disobey Him or allow sin to come between us. Why am I more concerned with what people think than what He thinks?
If I am not currently affected when my relationship with Christ is interrupted by sin, how do I change that? How do I get to the point where my natural reaction when I sin is to recognize that I have hurt the person closest to me? The obvious reaction is to get to know Him better, to spend more time with Him. But I thought that I was already doing that. I pray, I read the Word, I journal what He shares with me through daily time in the Word. I'm involved in ministry and I attend Church regularly. So what is the missing component? I don't have all the answers but here is what I have come up with so far. My perspective needs to change. Because I do not have the physical, tangible person of Christ standing in front of me, I tend to think of Him in the abstract. I know through Scripture that He is always with us. When I sit down to watch a movie I need to remember that He is watching it with me. When I make a demeaning comment or tell an off color joke, I need to remember that He is hearing it too. I need to intentionally picture Him in every conversation, in every activity throughout the day. We all react differently when people are with us than we do when we are alone. By ceasing to picture Christ as an all present, all seeing God and choosing to see Him as a friend who walks with me every moment of every day my entire world will change. I will also get to know Him better because the more time we spend with someone, the more we see the little things that make them who they are.
What is this?
I start every day by digging into Gods Word. I try to journal what I learn so that I can remember it and apply His principles to my daily life. I challenge you to do the same.