Am I Ashamed?
I opened the Bible App on my phone yesterday morning. I have intentions of starting my days with some sort of scripture, but my reality is an average of three out of seven. I’m choosing to believe that ain’t too shabby :) The verse of the day was this:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16
I had heard this verse many times before and in the moment didn’t let the words sink in at all. Later on I took my daughter on a walk and turned on some tunes. Without me choosing, the first song that came on was “I’m Not Ashamed” by Delirious. The words being sung repeatedly, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel, I’m not ashamed of the one I love.”
I was encountered by these same words twice in one day, so I got to thinking. I am not ashamed of Jesus. I am not ashamed of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, they are real to me and they change people. They are the biggest love and hold the changing power for everything on earth and beyond. I believe that and I am not ashamed.
With that said, Christian culture has made things rather confusing for me. I was raised all things Christian. Memorizing Bible verses as a three year old and knowing bible stories, bible songs, bible do’s and don’ts. None of these things feel necessarily wrong to me, but as I’ve become a Christian apart from my upbringing I’ve found that I am ashamed of what connotations seem to come with Christianity.
I am ashamed that my first instinct is to judge instead of love. I’m ashamed that I read scripture and many times feel “ho-hum” about what I’m reading. I’m ashamed that I live in the south where everyone is a Christian (what does that even mean??). I’m ashamed that we live in a “Christian” nation and yet we live in deep loneliness, darkness. I’m ashamed that politics have shrunken important issues to what side you’re on.
I don’t want to live in the confines of Christian culture. I don’t want to feel guilt for lack of bible study, lack of prayer, lack of serving in my life. I want the freedom and the power of Jesus that changes me and us. That puts love in front of a nice looking religion.
Again, this middle ground seems messy to me. I don’t know how to live like Jesus, but I know He has more for us than loneliness, judgement, and empty days. I think He wants to blow my mind with beauty. I think He accepts us all as specific creations; each of us meant for unexplainably good stories. And those stories are buckets of pain and hope and thats ok. I want to live in the power of Jesus not the condemnation of living up to something unattainable.
Yes, yes I do.