Are you seeing pumpkins everywhere you look? Not only outside on front porches but also in your coffee, donuts, cheerios, Oreos, Doritos??? OK, I haven’t seen pumpkin Doritos yet but I won’t be surprised when I do!
Fall is in the air. Fall brings pumpkins, colorful leaves, cool crisp air and…Halloween! I’m not writing to talk about the holiday (although if you’re wondering, I’m not a fan of the spooky stuff) but thinking of Halloween has me thinking about masks…and not just the scary kind.
Is it possible for our Christianity to become a mask we wear? Do any of the following thoughts sound painfully familiar?
“I’m a Christian so I don’t associate with people like you.”
“Being a Christian means going to church every Sunday.”
“I can’t do (fill in the blank) or go (fill in the blank) because I’m a Christian.”
“We’re Christian so my parents make me go to church on Sunday.”
“I’m a Christian so God values me more than He values you.” (We might not say that one but do we think it?)
These are just a few thoughts that come to mind that are rooted in pride and selfish ambition, rather than a sincere faith and true relationship with God.
Paul wrote many words of instruction and wisdom to his mentee, Timothy who was a young, teenage Christian just like you. The words Paul wrote below instruct on the importance of living out a SINCERE FAITH rather than following all the rules for the sake of looking good or feeling righteous.
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
(1 Timothy 1:5) Copy of The Company blog
As you step into fall, just about everywhere you look you’ll see traces of Halloween. Use these things as reminders to be sincere in your faith. If you are noticing idle talk, gossip and prideful thoughts in your life, it might be a sign that you need to take of the mask and get real.
As you purpose to let love motivate your actions and words, your faith will become more authentic and alive. You’ll first see a change deep within you and you’ll undoubtedly start to see a change in those around you who you have the opportunity to love, build up and encourage.
Tips for Halloween:
-Sit with the outcast at school.
-Offer to pray for friends (or even strangers) who share a problem with you…even if you’re scared. God will show up when you take a step of faith!
-Love those who seem mean and unlovable.
-Give out compliments rather than desiring credit and compliments for everything you do.
-Give more grace to your friends and family members who make mistakes. We all need to be forgiven so we all should forgive.
-Close your mouth when gossip tries to come out. Think before you speak.
Finally, realize that your relationship with God is YOUR OWN, not your parents. Christianity is not a list of rules and things you can’t do. It’s an HONOR and a PRIVELDGE to be able to have a true relationship with our great God through Jesus. Authentic, sincere faith is not based on rules but an overwhelming love for God that is demonstrated by our obedience to His word.
Love you guys!