In Dallas, the struggle for those who claim to be "Christians", isn't persecution, it's living "set apart". A lot of people attend church in Dallas but very few live in a way that would show they served God.
How do we as moms who love God wholeheartedly and want to serve Him make Him known? Particularly in a community where everyone goes to church, is involved in humanitarian efforts, and may even attend a Bible study?
I've lived in places like San Francisco where wearing a ring with a cross on it made a bold statement for Christ. It was easy to be "set apart". Believing in God was enough to make me different in that community.
One of our family's favorite Christmas movies is "Elf" with Will Farrell playing the main character "Buddy".
If you haven't had the pleasure of watching this fabulous flick, then let me give you a quick synopsis. . .
Buddy is a human who was raised by Papa Elf in the North Pole. One day when he struggled with not belonging in the elf world...not fitting in. His adopted father told him about his biological dad and how to find him in New York City.
What we love about Buddy is his enthusiasm and childlike-faith in all things Christmas. There is no doubt in his mind that Santa exists because he knows Santa. There is joy in all things related to Santa and Christmas. Most importantly he is determined in everything he does to share that passion with others.
At the end of the movie, Santa's sleigh is broken and the one way to make it fly is for more people to believe in Santa. Here are ways hearts began to belive:
- Knowing Buddy well, they were "won over" by his enthusiasm
- Presenting tangible evidence (showing Santa's list)
- Sharing in the joy of singing together--emotional experience
- Seeing Santa for themselves
Buddy was "set apart" in New York City. Everything he did (even how he dressed) was different. He whole-heartedly believed in something. He didn't believe begrudgingly. He believed with enthusiasm, joy and passion. He couldn't help but share his love with others.
faith with joy
How do we stand out in our own communities? Do we have that kind of passion & joy for our God?
Our God is so much more amazing than the "god" that Buddy believed in. Our God doesn't make toys and deliver them in one night. Our God created the entire universe! Our God saw us in our sinful state and instead of condemning us, he was gracious enough to send His own son to die for us (John 3:17). That's something to celebrate!
Why don't we share God with those around is in a way that draws them to His heart? Why do we act like Christianity is a burden? Why do we allow the activities to take away our joy instead of doing them out of joy?
How are we "set apart"?
Here are some ways we can believe like Buddy:
- Know God intimately (can only be passionate about a person we know)
- Grasp the miracle of all He has done for us...be in awe
- Know the tangible evidence of God's great story...be knowledgable
- Everything we do should be consumed with our love for Him
- Not concerned with what others think
- Enter conversations with innocence and assume the best of others
- "The best way to spread (Christian) cheer, is singing loudly for all to hear"
Maybe one way we can stand apart (particularly during the holidays) is to Buddy's favorite thing--> SMILE!
"I like smiling. Smiling is my favorite"(Buddy the Elf)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13