On Saturday we had over old friend I went to high school with and his family.  We saw them I about 4 years ago and before that, not since high school (it’s been about 15 years!).  Anyway, as I was laying in bed the night before and running down the list of things to do the next day to prepare, it dawned on me that my old friend is now a pastor.  A little bit of panic went through me as I thought, “we have a pastor  coming over and what if they think we’re not Christian enough?”.  I know it sounds dumb, but it’s like if the Beckhams were coming over and you’re worried how you’re house isn’t sophisticated enough.  As I laid in bed sorting out my thoughts, it came to me how stupid I was being.  They are people just like us and love God the same as us.  Besides, all that matters is how I love God, not how others perceive how I love Him.  I guess as a fairly new believer it’s still hard to let go of the world mentality and of what other people think of me.  Now don’t get me wrong, these people are the coolest laid back folk and I really had nothing to worry about.  My old friend’s wife will probably read this and laugh as they are such a humble and down to earth couple and here I am comparing them to the Beckhams. 

I just had a thought about Sunday’s sermon at Elevation that’s the opposite of what I’ve been talking about but still somewhat connected.  We had guest speaker, Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv.  During the sermon he talked about how people living in America would never be persecuted for our beliefs like those in so many other countries, like China, India, etc.  I think about the times I’ve been too timid to say the name Jesus to a stranger or a close friend who’s a non-believer and realized… I am persecuting myself!  That is absolutely ridiculous!  Why should I create obstacles for myself?!?!?!?!  So as I struggle to keep the judgements of the world (and myself!) out of my mind and heart, I’ll say this prayer:

Lord, help to me to always keep my eyes on You.  Keep my mind clear of thoughts that are not of You and of the world.  Keep my heart and motives pure in all that I do and let my actions always reflect Your glory.  Amen.

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