Sometimes it Costs

Over the last few months, my wife and I have had many discussions regarding our Christian faith.  Last night we went to a local Braum’s ice cream shop and sat for a while eating ice cream and talking about what we had listened to over the last couple of days (we both listen to podcasts of Paul Washer, Tim Conway, Art Azurdia, Steve Lawson, etc through the day).  My wife made the comment that I have changed and grown so much over the past couple of years and I told here that I had seen a lot of growth and change in her too.  That is the way our Christian life is supposed to be.  It is a continual state of growth and change or we aren’t really regenerated Christians.

As we were talking, I mentioned to her that I really didn’t want to be there at Braum’s eating ice cream.  She gave me that “hurt” look so I knew I’d better hurry up and clarify my statement since we were out on a date without the kids.  After a second of regrouping, I told her that it wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with her eating ice cream, it was just that we in the Western world are so comfortable.  It is nothing to us to go to Braum’s and have an ice cream, it is nothing to think about going out to eat.  We in the Western world spend a lot of time and resources doing things like that.  We just don’t know what it is like to do without, to sacrifice.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve missed a meal for any reason other than I just didn’t want to eat.  As best as I can remember over the last 40+ years I’ve never had to worry about shelter or clothing.  The point I’m making is that that attitude seems to creep into our Christian life and we take things for granted, we don’t seem to realize that there is a price to pay for being a Christian.

Now what makes this all the more interesting is that shortly after we got home last night, my wife came to me with something from one of her Facebook friends.  I don’t remember exactly what it was that her friend posted, but it was something along the lines of:  “I just look forward to the TV show Modern Family, but what makes it even better is that my kids can sit and watch it with me and we all love it so much.”  Now I don’t know what you know about the show, but it is supposedly a comedy about the happenings of 3 related families, one of which is a gay couple who are raising a child, or maybe two, I don’t know enough about it.  Anyway, my wife made the comment that she just couldn’t accept that a person who claimed to have a relationship with Christ and had been a Christian for at least the 3 years she had known her would, 1)watch a show like that, and, 2) talk about how great it was to enjoy that show with their children, who, by the way, are not even teenagers yet.  I asked my wife what she felt she needed to do and to make a long story short, she did respond to her Facebook friend who was very unappreciative of my wife’s judgmental attitude and her lack of ability to understand this persons relationship with Christ. 

In the end, my wife lost a friend.  But, she did share the Gospel with her friend in a way that it needed to be shared.  When God truly regenerates your heart, he starts bringing about changes in your life that are noticeable.  Paul Washer made the comment in a sermon that I listened to the other day and shared with my wife last night.  He said, “If there is no work of separation in your life recognizable at any point in time, then you are lost.”  While I realize that all of us grow in sanctification at different rates, what it boils down to is a matter of obedience on our part.  If regeneration in our hearts does not cause us to hate what God hates and love what God loves, we are not a Christian.  I’m not saying we are perfect and without sin, but we certainly cannot continually celebrate about a TV show that glorifies a lifestyle that God hates.  

God calls us a Christians to take a stand for the truth.  He doesn’t ask us if we would like to, He commands us to do it.  Sometimes that stand will have an associated cost with it.  Are we more concerned with our comfort, our prestige, our standing before this world, or do we tremble knowing that we answer to a Holy God?  The Word says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 ESV).

Where do your affections lie?  Are your affections costing you anything?  Just something to think about.