Dare to Tell the Truth

Truth or Dare?  I remember playing this game as a kid.  Deciding whether to pick truth or dare had a few deciding factors.  The first factor was the people you were playing with.  How well did you trust them with your truths and how mean would they be with a dare?  The second factor was peer pressure.  If everyone was yelling, “Dare! Dare! Dare!” it was pretty difficult to say, “Truth.”  I’m finding as an adult and as a Christian the rules have changed.  Now telling the Truth is a dare.  Unfortunately, the Christian community all too often is losing.  In a society driven by political correctness, it takes a daring person to stand up and tell the Truth. 

For me, as a Bible believing Christian, all truth is based on the Truth of the Word of God.  I’m a pretty “black and white” person.  I don’t usually fall into a “gray” area on my beliefs.  I’ve been called a “truth teller” and “honest to a fault” so I know I may not be typical.  I believe that the Bible is the only source of Truth, “God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”  2 Timothy 3:16. 

That brings me to the point of this post.  Christians are failing (me included) at standing up and speaking Truth.  We are allowing the fear of opposition to silence the Truths of God.  We are so afraid of offending someone or being politically incorrect, that we have lost our boldness. 

Let me just say here that we have a true enemy and he is very good at what he does.  He is a deceiver and has been mastering the art of deception since the beginning of time.  When he deceived Eve in the garden, he didn’t come as a scary red man with horns and a pitch fork, he came as a beautiful, crafty creature.  He didn’t come right out and say, “Eat this fruit!”  He planted seeds of doubt.  Then he followed up with lies and excuses and ultimately an appealing offer she could not refuse.  By the time she realized she had been deceived, it was too late and the fate of all human kind had been sealed.  Genesis 3:1-7.  We are now dealing with the repercussions of this fall. 

We are living in a world that has be craftily deceived.  The things our society is now accepting as
“truth” have been slowly spoon fed to us for generations, numbing us to the lies and deception.  What once would have been considered detestable and an abomination are now considered rights and ways of life.  At the same time, Christians have been fed the lies that we should not stand up against those things which are contrary to God’s Word, because when we do we are labeled “bigots, haters, intolerant, old fashioned, hypocrites, and much worse.”  So frankly, many Christians aren’t willing to take the opposition and choose to keep their views and convictions to themselves.  Trust me, I know, it’s easy to do.  When you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see someone has posted something that will cause controversy the claws come out.  People can be downright mean.  Instead of standing beside those brave enough to speak up against the wrongs in society, we scroll on by glad it’s them and not us being ripped apart.  We’re not willing to stick our necks out and take some of the heat off of the person who posted.  I’ve been there, done that.  What about the times when you really want to post something that you believe in, yet you think twice because you’re afraid of offending someone who doesn’t hold your same beliefs?(This may be one of those times for me.)  What do you do in the work place or in a group of friends who are talking about something that you oppose?  Do you have the fortitude to stand up and state your beliefs?  It’s hard!  It’s really hard when you are standing alone! 

God has been working on my heart in this area.  I hope this gives you something to think about as well.  I’ve only scratched the surface, but it’s a good place to start. 🙂

So, I ask you:

Why do we find it so hard to speak up? 
Why are we ashamed of what we believe? 
Why do we care what other people think of us when it’s Christ we answer to? 
Why do we care more about being politically correct, than biblically correct? 
Why do we sit around saying nothing, while those whose agenda is totally against everything we believe spread their propaganda to every news source available? 
Why are we apathetic? 
Why Christians? 
Why are we silent?

It’s time we speak up! 
It’s time we are bold!
It’s time we focus on Christ!
It’s time will know what the Word of God says!
It’s time we stand up for our Christian values!
It’s time we take action!
It’s time we speak Truth in love!
Come on!
I dare you!

In His Debt,

Better Late Than Never

Fear. Expectations.  Failure.  Pride.  Oh how I hate those words, the feelings they stir in me and the actions that they produce in me!  I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist.  Through the years, it has lessened slightly, yet still lurks in the background of everything I do.  The earliest memories I have included this trait of mine.   When given a task, assignment or challenge it was all or nothing.  I insisted on doing my best and it being the best (whatever that “it” was). 

The strive for perfection has cost me through the years in both my mental and physical health.  But the biggest cost has been in missed opportunities.  You see, because I am a perfectionist, in my mind everything I do must be “perfect” in my eyes.  Unfortunately, perfection is unattainable.  My standards of perfection have always been unattainable.  No matter how much effort I invest in whatever I’m doing, it just never seems to be enough, which brings me to my next fatal flaw…I’m a pessimist.  When you mix these two traits together, it can be a death sentence to dreams.  Let me explain.  If I am given a task to do or asked to do something, I first think, almost subconsciously, “can I complete this task to perfection?”  If the answer is “no”, I won’t even try. If the answer is “yes”, then I start to think of every possible scenario of how this task could go wrong or opposition I could face.  Then comes the mental death of that dream, idea or task.  I can literally talk myself out of doing something just because there is a possibility that 1. I could fail, 2. It would not be to my standards of perfection, or 3. It will not meet someone else’s expectations. 

I tell you all this so that you can understand a little bit about me and the reason behind starting this blog.  Let me first say that I did not start this blog because “everyone is doing it.”  That’s just not the way that I work.  I started this blog because for years I have been disobedient.  I am a Christian.  I’ve known Christ since I was a child, but took a “sabbatical” during most of my high school and college years, for lack of a better word.  God was still actively pursuing me during that time, but in my stubborn spirit, I chose to run away for a time.  I will talk about that in another post.  For many years, I have felt compelled to journal, write and speak.  Many people have encouraged me to pursue those areas.  I would keep a journal for a few days, weeks or maybe even a few months and then quit.  On several occasions, I have been asked to speak to different groups of people, but nothing consistent.   I’ve thought about it.  I’ve prayed about it.  I’ve talked about it.  I even made a special place in my house so that I could read, write and study.  Here I am years later, still thinking, praying and talking about it, but not actively doing it.  So, this blog is my accountability.  It is my legacy to my children.  It’s a compilation of my life stories, God encounters, and random thoughts on life.  Why have I not done it up until this point?… Expectations.  Failure.  Pride.  Fear that I will not live up to my own and others expectations.  Fear that I will fail and everyone will witness it.  Fear that pride in a job well done will ultimately cause me to fail.  Oh, the tangled web we weave when we listen to the one who deceives!

Recently, God has been tugging at my heart again.  He’s been gently wooing me back to this calling that He gave me years ago.  He reminded me just this morning that so many that were called before me also ran from their assignments as well.  Jonah ran and ended up in the belly of a whale. (Jonah 1:1-17)  Moses fled to Midian and was called back by a burning bush (Exodus 2). Peter ran away when times got tough, even though Christ warned him he would and Peter vehemently denied it. (Matt. 26:31-35, 69-75)  So, there’s hope for me.  There is hope that even though I’ve ran away for years, scared of failure and opposition, and just plain being lazy and apathetic, He can still use me. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 1:6

So, here I am, hoping that through my obedience I can somehow speak life into others.  I hope to inspire and spur you on to good deeds.  It may not always be “perfect”, but I promise to be me.  I promise to be real and authentic, because this life is hard and we all need a friend to walk with us.  I hope that you will walk along with me.