on having rights & doing right… and perceived safety & following Jesus

The longer I live, the crazier this world seems to become. I’m thinking many of you reading this might agree!

{And I apologize ahead of time if the tone of this occasionally seems harsh… I often come across that way IRL [in real life] too. I don’t mean to. It just means I am utterly passionate about that of which I speak. But I do attempt to speak the truth in love, though sometimes with a little sarcasm. And I hit the publish button with some trepidation. 

Some of this may seem random, but it should all come together in the end. :) I hope.

{I know this treads on ground we do not like to even see, let alone walk through; and I want to state up front, I am NOT against boycotting a business on principle in order to make your voice known; nor am I against protecting yourself and your family; nor am I against being concerned that now, in some places, there will be no ‘pause’ if a man is seen going into a woman’s restroom… this world is absurd; but I am not supposed to be comfortable in it.

The more I study Scripture, God’s intent for His people [that would be me, people who profess to be Christians] becomes very clear.

And the more I look into world history [have you ever really studied the culture surrounding the Israelites in old testament times? or Rome’s culture!? They both sound a LOT like our current world, just without any LIGHT that should come from those who know Jesus!!] and simply hear the news about current events, the wickedness of this world, while terrific and sometimes terrifying, paints God’s Grace as an absolutely stunning masterpiece.

God’s Grace IS an absolutely stunning masterpiece.

pink tip rose
And I am in awe of my privilege to even have become a Christian.

I have many privileges as an American; and one of them, freedom of speech, allowed a lady to speak to my family about Jesus many years ago… without fear of imprisonment, which is how witnessing looks in some other countries.

But sometimes, the difference between having these privileges, sometimes called “rights“, as an American  and doing right, as a Christian, is a wavy, blurry line. [I wrote about this before, with a distinctly different “cause” in mind, but all the same principles apply.] 

I have many privileges [rights] as an American. I have vast amounts of opportunities when I am willing to work and sacrifice, because of ideas set forth by our founding fathers.

The constitution tells me, as an American, I have the right to: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I have the right–as an AMERICAN {this is different than any rights I may have as a Christian} to live. I had the right to be born {and that’s, mostly, already been taken away from this generation…} and, hopefully, not be murdered.

I have liberty: this can be explained as–free rein {flexibility & room to maneuver}, self-determination {I can decide who and what I become}, latitude {breathing space to make my own decisions}, autonomy {self-rule-a right I think we should all exercise a little more!} civil liberties (live where you prefer, choose your own school & occupation, marry whom you desire, etc), prerogative (an advantage by birthright to make your own decisions)… and in context with the writing of those words, it basically meant that the central government of the land was to stay out of my personal business.… I think most of that is gone now, too.

And I have the “right” or opportunity to pursue happiness… not HAVE happiness, mind you, but PURSUE it- as in try to find/obtain it.

purple flower-2
And contrasted: As a Christian, I have all the ability I need to DO right, because Jesus is [or should be] my strength.

And as a Christian, my standard for ALL things I do should be the example of Christ and the principles in His Word.

This “my rights’ attitude” {yes, even for basic safety in public places} that currently is the trend, is not constitutional or Biblical. We tread on sticky ground when mixing the constitution and the Bible, I know.

There are laws put in place to protect people, yes. They put a guardrail around our freedoms so that my freedom does not overlap yours: my right to have my own opinions and thoughts is NOT in opposition of your right to opinions and such, even to the point that we are not supposed to be allowed to publicly publish lies about someone. I cannot come live in your house or take your possessions just because I like them better than my own. I cannot use my right to life as a means of taking another’s life. {I think you get the picture.}
But laws have never–NEVER, in the history of mankind–provided safety for the common man. I’ll get to that a little further down, if you stay with me. 😉 {Again have you ever really studied the culture surrounding the Israelites in old testament times? or Rome’s culture!?}

[And, as an aside, public restrooms are not a right. They are a common courtesy provided in most public areas.]

But, from where in the world did the thought of personal freedoms not overlapping or even the fact we should not take another’s life come!? {I’m fairly certain it was NOT an original idea by man!! Ten commandments, anyone? GOD laid down these laws for His people because they were in direct CONTRAST to the REST OF THE WORLD!!! -not because they were basic common sense and He just wanted to make rules.}

Sometimes I read what other Christians write and hear what they preach and think, They’ve confused our privileges as citizens of America into being rights we have as a Christian. But they’re NOT!

Do you know Christians who live it or are from other countries? Their citizenship rights from those country are all different than ours, as Americans. But our rights and privileges as Jesus-Followers–those are the same.

blue morning glory

Has your Bible study ever brought you across a list of rights and privileges we have a believers? Mine has, and not ONE of them lists “safety” as a basic right as a Christian. Do you know what kind of rights we have a believers?

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark 10:21

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

I see a recurring idea here. Do you?

Denying self, taking up our cross, following Jesus… all those things are directly related to how WE live and being bold witnesses of HIS SALVATION! Denying self! …I think that puts my attitude of “self” and “rights” to death.

John 15:17-These things I command you, that ye love one another. 

Can we just stop right here for a second?

LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

I feel like this subject has been “defined” to death, but love is not tolerance. Love is not feeling anything. 

Love is humility {not being prideful}. Love is kindness-in action. Love is not rejoicing in iniquity or evil. Love is rejoicing in truth. Love BEARS ALL THINGS [perhaps even the loss of perceived personal safety?] for the sake of the one that is loved… and are we not to show Jesus’ LOVE to the lost and dying who live in the darkness of this world?

Love is THINKING OF OTHERS.

And not just “others” but those who are without Christ… We are to GO to them and share Jesus. We are to be a LIGHT to them; and we are to be an example to those who are newly saved.
This includes our own children. My sweet babies are learning how to react to sin in a sinful world from my reaction. My children are learning how to treat someone living in continual sin by how I TREAT them, not by what I “say” about Jesus loving them… but how do I actually TREAT them? {And honestly, THIS is where TRUE change will come: when we teach our children the love of Christ and model this love in front of them! “Morality” has never had success at being legislated. That’s not the way it works.}

CONTINUING ON….John 15:18-If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19- If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20-Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21- But all these things [things that hatred causes people to do] will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22- If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. 23- He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24- If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25- But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 26-But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 –And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 16:1-These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 

Jesus is light. And the world hates Him. When Jesus is in us, we {should} have this light shining out. Thus, the world will hate us. Unregenerate people will twist what we say and see us however the devil twists in their minds. We are not called to fight their hate, but to LOVE THEM in spite of it {wow!}.

Darkness, and all humanity without Jesus IS dark {whether or not they appear moral -this is not my opinion, this is Biblical} hates light. 

And we are not to be wounded or disgruntled by their hatred ...light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

yellow daisy2

Now, while I am all for the laws, as an American, that create the illusion of safety, my safety & the safety of my precious children [3 of whom are girls] is not in the hands of lawmakers, policy makers or even common decency of the human race {I mean, pardon my bluntness, but do you have ANY idea of the absurdity of that idea? Human trafficking, child pornography, even basic slavery in many countries kills the idea of “common decency”.}

SAFETY comes ONLY from the Lord, {and He instructs us to seek wise counsellors}.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safetyPsalm 4:8

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. Proverbs 21:31

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 24:6

1 Thessalonians 5:1-But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2- For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3-For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4-But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5- Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness6- Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

In light of all these thoughts from Scripture, I will continue my occasional shopping at stores that change their bathroom policy to be “gender neutral” [and use the family restroom if the need arises while there with 4 children]… and any other store I need to that decides to act against God [and use their family restrooms, because I’m always more comfortable with that option as a mom of 4 children]. And I will not shop at stores that do not offer things my family needs… and I will likely not advertise it either.

Not because I agree with all of their policies, but because they may offer a good or service I need at a price I can afford. This is economics.
[I do not agree with any of my local grocer’s policies on alcohol sales or retailer’s decisions to sell provocative clothing or bookstores to sell secular books, or even the way in which most companies choose to spend their profits; but I still must shop for food and clothing and pay my bills. I live IN this world, but I am not to be OF it.] 

The fact that some may boycott a company on the basis they have taken away our perceived safety in a restroom is certainly anyone’s “right” as an AMERICAN, be they Christian or not. My only problem is that the whole situation has blown up to sound more like “Christians hate transgenders and don’t want them to have the same rights we do.” {And I realize that whole concept is part of what makes our world sound insane right now. I am not even addressing if this policy is “right” or “wrong”… only what I am learning about how I am supposed to react.}

I KNOW many Christians are not feeling this way… but the WORLD does not see it.

And as a result, the WORLD IS NOT SEEING JESUS IN US.

And if the world is not seeing JESUS, we are doing something WRONG.

blackeyed susan

So, shop at Target or don’t. Shop at your local grocery that sells alcohol or don’t… it is of no importance to the world. (And I’m fairly certain that proclaiming what and why is just going to sound petty to a lost and dying world… and will not help the cause of Christ.)

But, please, I beg of Christians, stop and think about the manner in which you choose to boycott a company. {And don’t get me started on Christians being upset about a person labeled LGBT being able to sue a bakery because they refuse to create transgender sentiments on a cake… and then not let another company make a policy to allow whomever wants to can enter their public facilities. We want to allow a company to openly support religious beliefs and get all bent-out-of-shape because the gender-confused individuals want to boycott a fast food chain that is closed on Sundays but it’s OK if WE want to boycott a retail store for deciding to make their bathrooms “gender neutral.” Do we not see how double minded WE are being?! A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Again, I know this treads on ground we do not like to even see, let alone walk through; and I am not against the rights we have as AMERICANS… and using them to protect ourselves, within the confines of the law… nor am I opposed to trying to appeal laws that seem to hinder our ability to have life or pursue happiness or exercise liberties… but as CHRISTIANS we should still be completely loving in this.

As a Christian, I must evaluate my motive for all actions and reactions and determine if they are Biblical.

The only true, purely Biblical motive is to do all to the glory of God [I Corinthians 10:31].

The Lord sets expectations of what He requires from us; but He also ALWAYS gives us the strength to meet them.
{because God gets glory when His strength is magnified through our weakness: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10}

Evaluating my motive is often a soul-searching, prayerful endeavor.

Because our hearts are deceitful [Jeremiah 17:9].

Our boldness should come out when defending and proclaiming Christ, Him crucified and risen as our HOPE FOR ETERNAL LIFE… not over our right to have perceived safety in a public restroom. 

Acts 4:24 & 29 {a prayer for Peter & John} …they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is… And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word…

Again, our boldness should come out when defending and proclaiming Christ, Him crucified and risen as our HOPE FOR ETERNAL LIFE… not in relation to SELF. 

Just a few other passages for contemplation:

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without [outside of the faith], redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man [answer about our faith/hope, as spoken below as well as general speech]. Colossians 4:5-6

1 Peter 3:14-But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15- But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16-Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17- For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. [This one is difficult to swallow sometimes.]

Titus 2:15-These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. 3:1-Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2-To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3-For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4-But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5-Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost6- Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7-That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8-This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9- But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the lawfor they are unprofitable and vain.

We must speak with grace to those who are unsaved. We must be able to always speak of Jesus in every situation, with meekness and fear [have a mild, respectful disposition and understand the consequences if the darkness we speak to decides to react AS darkness].

We must be willing to lay down our own perceived rights as citizens of this world to pick up our responsibilities as citizens of heaven!

And we must remember the amazing Grace, Love and Mercy that pulled us from the pit of darkness and set our feet on The Solid Rock!

pink tip rose-2

 

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hello!

hello!

I’m Tascha. I have {mostly} been a stay-at-home-mom, learning about God & life, Biblical womanhood, friendship, nutrition, needle-work, natural health, photography & graphic design & most recently Bible Journaling! Woman was created to help man. She is His Gift {for him}, and this is a heart issue.  ~~It’s a fun ride, and I hope you will enjoy the glimpse you can spy through this blog.~~ signature












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