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Coffee Shop Talk: 3 Big Fears, Questionable Media, and Being Used
[box_light]Ed. note: This is B. She’s our weekly Q&A writer and will be answering questions from a female perspective (naturally). You can find her subsection under “Faith.” Do you have a question or comment? Send it to us on Facebook, Twitter, via email, or in the comments, and we’ll do our best to have her answer it in future weeks.[/box_light]
What are your three biggest fears?
I was going to just say dumb things like spiders and roller coasters and janky feet, but I feel like I need to be honest with myself and should talk about three fears that truly weigh on my heart some times.
Three and a half years ago was the first time I was ever in a relationship that I could somewhat see moving forward. I had never dated anyone longer than 2 months at this point because by a month and a half I would already know if I could see myself marrying him. Well, long story short, we had made it to almost 4 months. This was huge for me. I never told him “I love you” and I wasn’t even sure if I did at the time. [I didn't.] The possibilities were there, though.
And then–––out of no where–––he left for another girl. I was shattered in so many ways for so many different reasons that I won’t get into now. But, if I’m being honest–––which I want to be–––I pray through this fear more than I’d like to.
I have a fear that the next man I date [which I believe will be the man I marry] will do the exact same thing to me. He will leave me for someone he sees as more beautiful, worthy, or more godly. I know how silly and insecure it is to fear this… and I believe with all my heart that it won’t happen if the man I am with (and myself) are constantly seeking to live in the will of God. Even so, it cripples me at times when I imagine one day waking up and he tells me he wants someone else. Just like three and a half years ago–––one day I woke up and he changed his mind.
The second fear I have is that I will never be bold enough for Christ. I want to fight each day so hard for the hearts around me; especially my family and those people who are close to me. I fail Jesus so many times. The fear in this is that at the end of my life when we all stand before Christ that the people I care most about will be standing to my right and to my left and I’ll have to listen as God says, “Get away from me. I never knew you.” It rips my heart out to think that there are so many people I know who are skating by on a “get out of hell free card” and that’s the extent of their relationship with God. And to think that they’re okay with it. I fear that I will stand in my own way and allow Satan to cripple me into silence. Each day I fight and pray against this fear because I refuse to allow the devil to steal the hearts I love.
One of the other fears I have is that my children [God willing if I have them] won’t love the Lord. I know it is mine and my husband’s responsibility to raise/direct our children in the way they should go, yet, I see so many godly men and women who are so on fire for Christ and their children are lost in darkness. There are so many different reasons and circumstances, but I fear that even if I do the best I can in raising my children in the Lord, they will choose to walk away.
I pray for them already. (Yes, I’m that crazy girl who prays for her nonexistent children… back off!) I pray God gives my husband and I wisdom and patience in our home with our kids. I pray that they will be men & women after God’s own heart. That they will be the David and Joshua and Esther of their generation.
These things I fear at the moments when I take my eyes of Christ… but then, I recall this to mind, and in THIS I have hope:
GOD IS STRONGER.
Where do you draw the line concerning questionable media (like TV/music/etc)?
This is an area that causes so many issues for Christian men and women more than we even allow ourselves to see.
The things we listen to and see and pour into ourselves directly effects our thoughts and our attitudes. I’ve come to realize for myself that it directly effects my walk with the Lord. There’s such truth in the phrase that says, “You can’t be poured out for God if you’re not first filled by Him.” How can we be filled by Him if we are already filling ourselves with the things of the world?
God has been laying onto my heart how much garbage this world tries to feed us. How slowly over time, the church (as a whole) has allowed these lies to slowly creep into our hearts and we don’t even realize it. We live as Christians and Christ followers that try to honor God in all we do, yet we are filling our ears and eyes with things that completely contradict it. If music curses or uses the Lord’s name in vain or is sexually suggestive, why listen to it? Is it really worth compromising the honor of the Lord for a song with a few good beats and catchy melody?
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
Movies and TV crossed the “honorable” line a LONG time ago. Take a second and think back to the 90′s with me. The movies that were rated R then are movies that are a “mild” PG-13 movie now.
The conviction the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart over censoring this area of my life has been heart wrenching. I have allowed the world to taint my standards. The world has convinced me that somehow I need to be okay with them taking the name of the God I love and serve and say it so flippantly. I can’t hear those words or phrases anymore without my skin turning.
If I know watching movies filled with sex scenes and swearing are going to cloud my judgement and my heart and cause me to stumble–––I have to avoid them. I still listen to secular music and watch TV and movies, but I’m much more conscious of the choices I make.
I won’t write this and tell you to only listen to Jesus Culture and Hillsong and only watch Veggie Tales. That’s extreme and ridiculous. At the end of the day, we all need to stop and examine our hearts and what we are filling it with. We need to start being a generation that doesn’t tolerate the dishonorable things that are filling the media.
Bonus: I want to just encourage all of you to pray over this. Allow the Spirit to move in you and show you areas that may need to be refined and pruned in your life.
I’ve had a lot of sexual sin in the past and at times feel “too far gone.” Can God really use me?
That feeling of being “too far gone” is Satan and his lies. God’s hand stretches farther than any distance. We are never too far to be out of God’s reach. In the Bible, God uses “the least of these” time and time again to accomplish His work. He specifically chooses people that you wouldn’t expect to accomplish His plan for His glory.
Think of Rahab. She was a prostitute. She was continually involved in sexual sin and yet God used her. Rahab hid the spies that Joshua had sent into scout the land of Jericho. She not only risked her own life by lying to the king, but she also risked the lives of her entire family. She knew that the God those men served was the One True God and that the Israelites would take over the land.
“I know the Lord has given you this land…For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens and the earth below.”
Not only did God use Rahab to further His plan for His chosen people, but God also blessed Rahab. Rahab would be in the direct line of Jesus Christ. Rahab was the mother of Boaz, who was the father of Obed, who was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of king David; whose line Christ would come. (Matthew 1:5) Rahab had every reason to feel like God could never use her or love her because of her past sin. God not only showed His power in how He used Rahab, but through the blessing He poured upon her and her family, God showed Rahab His love for her.
God loves us. He is jealous for us and our hearts more than we can even fathom or imagine. We are NEVER too far gone to be used by the Lord. His power and love runs so much deeper than any of our mistakes. Paul says it perfectly in Ephesians 3. We can feel like the worst of sinners, yet God is greater and His grace cannot be contained or bound. Nothing I say will ever matter or convince you of this truth… so I just want to close with this:
[box_light]7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone[a] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[b] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[c] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[d] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
(Ephesians 3:17-21, NLT; emphasis added)
until our next chat,
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)