Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christian Versus Spiritual

Have you ever sung the song Make Me a Blessing?  The words say,

Make me a blessing.
Make me a blessing.
Out of my life, may Jesus shine.




Did you sing it from your heart?  Did you truly want to be a blessing to someone?  Today I want to share a story recently conveyed to me.  I am going to call the girl Susan, but you can call her Georgia, Matilda, or Priscilla.  Her name doesn't matter.  Her story does.

Susan had been raised in a conservative home.  The family attended church on a regular basis.  As a teenager she became rebellious and left home when she began college to live the life she wanted.  During this time, the family drifted out of church. 

Susan was a hard worker and held down three jobs to support herself and pay for college.  One of the jobs was for a church school.  She began to make friends with people her parents would not approve.  One night one of those friends ask her to go for a ride with him.  She did.  That was the worst night of her life.   At some point in the drive, he pulled over and brutally raped Susan.  She was so ashamed that she told no one of the incident.  
  • She had been physically and emotionally violated.
Emotionally bankrupt, she tried to pick up the pieces and go on with her life.  Eight weeks later she began to show some physical signs and a test revealed that she was pregnant.  She was devastated.  No only had she not recovered from the rape, but now she was pregnant and everyone would know.  She made an appointment with the abortion clinic.  On the day of the appointment, she drove to the clinic and sat in the parking lot.  Several times she tried to get out of the car, but something held her fast.  Eventually, she drove home.

  • She had been physically and emotionally violated.
  • She was pregnant.

Now Susan had to make some difficult decisions.  What was she to do with the baby?  How was she going to tell everyone?  What did she tell everyone?  

She drove to the church school where she worked and met with the pastor.  There she explained her pregnancy, but could not bring herself to tell him about the rape.  The pastor said, "I'm so ashamed of you.  We can't have you working with these children.  You will have to leave your job."

  • She had been physically and emotionally violated.
  • She was pregnant.
  • She couldn't support the child.
Susan sucked up her pride and went home to tell her parents.  She told them of the pregnancy, but not the rape.  Her dad decided the family needed to get back in church.  When the church found out Susan was pregnant, she was approached by a 'committee' of women and informed that because she was pregnant out of wedlock, she would receive no help from the church.  They didn't reward sin.
  • She had been physically and emotionally violated.
  • She was pregnant.
  • She couldn't support the child.
  • The church had turned against her.
Susan told her story at a training for the pregnancy crisis help center where she works.  I listened attentively and  my heart went out to her.  As she sat down, the director stepped up to the podium and asked "Any discussion?"  I answered, "Yes."  Then as I began to speak, the tears started.  I said, "The saddest thing she said was that the one place she should have been able to find support, the place that should have been a safe haven for her, turned against her.  Two different churches had an opportunity to be a blessing to Susan and chose to condemn her instead."
Think back to the story of the woman at the well.  Christ told her to call her husband.  She replied, "I have no husband."  What did Christ say?  "I'm so ashamed of you."  Absolutely not.

Think about the story of the woman taken in the act of adultery.   The men of the town asked Christ what they should do with her.  Christ instructed the person without sin to throw the first stone.  Then after they had left, Christ looked at her and said, "I'm so ashamed of you."  NOT!!!

Think about your conversion experience.  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  When you 'believed in Christ' did He say, "I'm so ashamed of you?"  When you confessed that you were a sinner, did he say, "I'm so ashamed of you?"  No He didn't.  What right do we have to be ashamed of anyone?  We are all sinners saved by grace.  Yet there are times that we get so Christian that we forget to be spiritual.

I challenge you today to show the love of Christ to someone who is hurting.  Be a blessing to someone today--whether they deserve it or not.

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