Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An Inconvenient Christian

I'm a Christian. I belong to a Lutheran church. I teach Sunday school. But lately, I feel like I haven't been spending a lot of time with God. It is so easy to get caught up in everyday life. I have to remind myself to stop and spending some time praying or reading my Bible. It's important.

There are some people who would say that I'm not really a Christian because I'm believer in the separation of church and state...someone who sees value in other religions. Usually, the same people who try and tell me that I am don't support the troops and that I'm not a patriot simply because I don't support the war and would rather have my fellow Americans safe at home rather than dying on foreign soil. I believe there are many paths to God. I have chosen one. But everyone has to figure out their own way. For some Christians, that is having a private relationship with God. For others, it may be extending that relationship to attending church at Christmas and Easter. For others, it may mean going to church every single Sunday. It's a personal choice.

I wear a small cross every single day. When I touch it, it makes me think of my relationship with God. But, I wear it for another reason too. There is a lot of hostility towards Christianity these days. And with good reason. I understand why people may have anger towards the Christian faith. We Christians don't always act the way we should. As we say in the Lutheran prayer of confession, "We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves." I know I am guilty of this every single day. I lose my temper with people sometimes. Especially when driving. I try to challenge myself to be kind to people in the service industry. To not get impatient. To say please and thank you. But sometimes, I need a reminder. And I hope that one day, when I am being very un-Christianlike, someone will look at the cross around my neck and call me a hypocrite. Because I need the reminder.

I have pulled out the back issues of my "Lutheran Woman Today" and "Lutheran" magazines that I haven't read and I'm going to try and make time every day to read them and to have time with God. Especially with Lent right around the corner.

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