by Nina B.
I have a confession to make... Well, not really a confession, but something to share about myself: While in my car, I listen to Christian music - usually praise and encouraging music, loudly, really loud - probably damaging my eardrums. In the little old lady car that I bought used last year, to my surprise, I have what's called a sub woofer, (it’s a system that makes the bass of a song “more”. This is why young folks love such devices). Seth, my youngest son, saw it and asked for it - I didn't know what it was, however, the mechanic, explained that it was factory installed and wouldn't be worth it to take it out. So, Seth and his friend, Jose, installed one in his car, (thanks to his graduation gifts). However, when I discovered the wonders of this "amplifying" device, I decided I would be the neighborhood DJ and share Jesus in a very passive/aggressive way. :-) I'm not obnoxious, but I do lower my windows when the spirit moves me and I crank up the volume and make my windows vibrate, (sometimes - not all the times). Fernando Ortega's "Kyrie Eleison", (see September's blog), would not sound classic at all with the bass this monster in my trunk produces. However, with Toby Mac's "Move-Keep Walkin' "... You get my point.
Now, most people who know me would never dream that I would do such a thing, not that I think it’s a bad thing, (I play Kirk Franklin’s “Smile” and “My Life is in Your Hands” and Ginny Owens “If You Want Me To”, Hillary Scott’s “Thy Will Be Done”, For King & Country “Priceless”, (I play this when I see folks “advertising”), and so much more...) . It’s just something that I do to plant seeds for Jesus. Some may call it being obnoxious - actually, not so much because of the tempo, or the loudness, but sadly, because it’s music talking about Jesus. People don’t like Jesus these days. BUT, I dare to do what I do, because folks on the street turn around and see this short, little Black lady, driving a grandma car and hear the music, feel the bass and don’t say anything. See passive-aggressive.
Good or bad?
I think these are end times, (like tribulation is just around the corner folks and hell is... well, hell; and eternal-forever - Jesus does not what anyone to perish, but some folks are certainly hell-bent, so we all should do our part to at least plant a seed), so whatever works to get the WORD out there works for me.
Some folks would say and have said, “Oh Nina, you are so good” look what you do. They look at what has been my life and say, “You are so good…”. Which is kinda funny/odd, to equate trials and hardships and a butt-load of @#*x!, with being "good", because I didn’t go crazy and hate and do other stuff. See, I don’t think that makes me “good” it makes GOD good and in control, because if He were not; bad would so rule in my life.
But still, this notion of “good” is crazy, because folks in a lot of our churches, (I attend four), have the mindset that they are “good”. However, “And Jesus said to him, Why call you me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” Luke 18:19 and likewise in Mark 10:18. Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (That's a direct quote folks). We get wrapped up and carried away in the crazy belief of our “goodness”... when we aren’t really "good" at all.
So what is my point?
Christians, seemingly seasoned in their walk, claim to be “good”. They talk about being “good” as if it were a balm to sooth any doubts. They surround themselves with “good” people and tell each other of their “goodness”, when really “...no one is good…”.
Tony Evans of the Urban Alternative spoke of sin - the not "good", in terms of roaches in our houses. He questioned his congregation about wanting baby roaches in one’s house. Of course, no one wants baby roaches in their house. Then he asked if anyone wanted winged roaches in their houses, because they’re “special”. Again, no one wanted these pest - no matter how special. Lastly, he asked what about large roaches, because they were full size and adult and more wise roaches and had survived much - still no takers. This is the case with God and Heaven. God will not tolerate any sin in his House! Not one!
Now, while we run around thinking how “good” we are; shouldn’t we be thinking twice and putting on Christ and exclaiming loudly how "GOOD" He is! Not claiming any works we do as our accomplishments, but solely the work of the Holy Spirit, when we get ourselves out of the way? Shouldn’t we be bowing on our knees before the altar, repenting of our sins during the confession and absolution - not hurriedly pausing for 5 fricken seconds for the “silence for reflection on God’s Word and for self-examination”. See within our churches we perpetuate the belief that we are “good” because we don’t ever give a thought to repent before God even when there’s time during the service set aside to do just that - REPENT! Because we are all so “good”.
Or is the thought of not being “good” bad? Or so bothersome and antiquated that we don’t give repentance a passing thought because we’re so “good”.
Since, I have gone through some life changing events - I sit on the sidelines and think - a lot. I look at people too. I look at myself, my life… I live too much in the land of regret and what if’s. I don’t talk much with people.
Especially, since my Mondays through Fridays are filled with 6-8 graders - I do not talk with children - I am their teacher, which means I often use most of my weekly words for instructional purposes - I’m worn out by the weekends and just don’t have it in me to converse with adults - were there adults to converse with - there are not… I have friends, but I don’t chat - I text or email, my written verbiage is often more readily prolific than my spoken, (you’ve read these blogs ;-/) - my friends understand, likewise, with my family, although, my sister Jackie does get upset that I don’t “TALK” with her - she is not a texter).
When I see people, I wonder, how many think they are “good” and without sin, because they are “good”. They attend church - even regularly, they sit on boards and decide “things” for the church and maintain the church and make everyone feel “good”. They don’t think twice about their gossip, their inner thoughts about “things” that truly only God knows, (has He been bugging you about those thoughts? ... and you’ve been ignoring HIM?!), about the attitudes, the haughtiness, the back stabbing at work, the cheating on your taxes, the cheating on your spouse when your eyes lingered…, and when was the last time you did anything with your elderly parent, or is that what you expect your sibling to handle?
Folks, I drop my stone and walk away too, for I am not without sin. I am not a good person. Why did you think I drive to and from work when no one else is on the road? And I don’t complain to you all, but there are others out there who are more than happy to feed me my poison… And there are the days I just don’t like some people and I have to ask Jesus to help me love them - which is why I live where I do - it is by God’s design or humor.
Me: I don’t think it’s so funny God!
God: “Check the tude, Nina!”
me: … check
Bottom line: God is NOT CONTENT that we should stay where we are - supposing that we are “good”. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…" God is doing the "good" work on and in us. It’s like when a woman goes to the salon for a new hairdo. The hairdresser is working the magic. Her comb becomes a magic wand and poof - new do. What hairdresser would tolerate a woman taking the comb saying, “No do it this way…” Especially, if it were an experienced, licensed expert hairdresser!
Let God be God. Repent - your job. Put on Christ, (this means receive His gift of His life for yours) and give ALL the glory to God.
Soli Deo Gloria