Crossing Taboo Lines
This week, our 2 year old wild child ran around the dining room table, and shrieked and sang as Zach and I tried really hard to sit at the dinner table and focus in on our advent devotional. Eventually we somewhat successfully got through it. This week we talked about Salvation. After reading about Saul, someone who severely misinterpreted salvation, and the woman at the well, a Samaritan, whom Jesus spoke to although He was a Jew, the devotional prompted us to answer the question, “For whom can I pray for this advent for God to save?”
That question brought up feelings of nervousness and discomfort. We live in a country of “tolerance” and “acceptance”, where we are expected to just let people live as they are, however they believe, or do not believe, and not push our “religion” or “morals”. In my mind and heart, I grasp that Christ’s love and God’s law are protective, caring, and the very best for every person. The gospel is for ALL, but this is something I don’t always carry out in action. I am too afraid to cross a line that might offend someone, religiously or politically speaking, and I allow my social fear and boundary to prevent me from boldly sharing the loving God of the universe, who has changed my heart and life, with someone who also needs Him deeply.
I have people in my life that I care for that do not love the Lord, and it breaks my heart that they are living in that kind of emptiness and brokenness. It is terribly awkward to have those weighty conversations because I fear that I will sever the relationship entirely. I have tried to faithfully love, serve, and be there for those people in the mundane and the difficult, and I’ve hoped that would stir a fruitful conversation as to why I care for them in love, but those conversations haven’t or don’t always happen. Do I patiently love them and wait for them to have curiosity and questions? Do I immediately initiate a bold conversation about Jesus?
Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well, although there has been a long standing rift of hatred between their peoples, and He gets through to her. She left and told those in her village, “Come see a man who knew about all of the things that I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?”.
Zach and I concluded our advent devotional time by praying for everyone we love that does not currently live life with Jesus, and it was honestly difficult to pray for those that we feel might never know Him, and in those prayers that were difficult for my heart to vocalize, I thought about how I am a sinner who continually forgets about Jesus’ sacrifice and love for me, yet He has given me His spirit, and His love and forgiveness, and in that sweet reminder that He loves me despite all that I have done, He can love and save every heart.
Give us discernment, for when we know that strangers and loved ones need Your grace and salvation, yet we don’t know how to share it with them in our own depravity. Give us boldness and clarity in sharing your Gospel, because we know that it is all that matters in this life. Help us to cross taboo lines with you at our side, foregoing our fears that we will break relationships, and instead help us to be prayerful that our declaration of You stirs fruitfulness and love for You in hearts.
~ Carly Haynes