Open Doors

My view of the world that I grew up in was a world that cares so little for the poor. Late night infomercials depicting the sick and dying have caused us to grow numb. My heart was hardened. I grew up ignoring the poor, sick, and rejected. I was focused on college, careers, salaries, retirement, and success. I was told to seek safety, security, and comfort. Then someone opened the Bible and simply said, this stuff is not a suggestion.  That was when I realized that Christ calls us to abandon everything to follow him. More easily said than done. Trust me.

My friends and I have had a long journey, filled with new realizations and clearer understandings. The Bible is not so complicated anymore. We no longer try to explain away passages because they do not fit into our personal American Dreams of what we want to do with our lives. I have messed up. I have said the wrong things, in the wrong ways, in the wrong settings, with the wrong intentions, to the wrong people. I have not had love at times. I have not been clear. I have not been patient. I have not been gentle. I have failed to show respect where it was due and I have assumed things I did not truly know or understand. I guess that is proof that I am a sinner. This is why I believe repentance is a lifestyle, not just a walk down an aisle (though often times that is completely necessary). Many times I have done too many things for the praise of men. Ambition and pride is something I constantly am aware of and wish would not affect my actions. Doing all things so that every bit of the praise is directed to God is something I personally struggle with, deeply. The supremacy, love, and awesomeness of Christ should always trump every single thing I do or say.

I want to be honest and clear. Too many times these blog posts have been made to “sound my own horn”. I grew up hearing that saying, and I am pretty sure that it comes from Matthew 6:2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”

It is really hard to share the amazing opportunities God has opened up in your life without starting to get a big head. It is really hard to talk about the incredible things that my friends and I have been able to participate in without starting to think that it was of our own doing and not God’s. This is why I closed my blog down for the past couple of days. I was getting too caught up in everything and was not focusing on the real point of creating this blog – to revive a desire to help the least of these. Not a revival by my own doings, but a revival that stems from Biblical conviction, righteous love, and a desire to not only follow God’s commands, but to help all humans that were made in God’s image – because we love God so much. He is the center of all that we do.

The journey that God has set me and my friends on is one that has had its ups and downs. I can not stress enough how deeply I understand the extent in which I have failed to ultimately show love to others through gentleness and respect. Often times it has driven people away or caused them to think differently about me – the complete opposite of which I am seeking. Nevertheless, despite all the struggles and difficulties, I just want to try to read the Bible, follow what it says, no matter the consequences, and keep my eyes open for the doors that God opens in my life – then walk through them regardless of the sacrifice.

He just recently opened an incredible door of opportunity in my life. A chance to experience an awesome summer of service, struggles, and sacrifice. I think it will be a humbling experience. In all things, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…then everything else will be taken care of.

I just need to live that way.

-SB

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