Okay, so to be honest I have struggled for more than a week on what to post next. I’ve tossed a couple ideas around, I’ve prayed and nothing has seemed to come to light. I was going to do a make up tutorial. But that didn’t work. Then I was going to just post my favorite products, then the pictures wouldn’t load to my laptop. SO. Clearly, I have had an uphill battle. But, alas, here I am. With a pretty good message, if I do say so myself.
Read Galatians 6:1-10
When I was in high school, I was constantly concerned with others actions and problems. I was full of judgement. But when it came to me and my problems and actions, when my friends tried to warn me or help me, I got extremely defensive. As I have said before, I am no saint. I have sinned. Because I am a sinner. And we all sin. But I was way more concerned with others sins, rather than my own.
I went to the same church from birth to about 20. I was raised there, I grew up with the people there. I was loved, and I loved them. And in high school, I had the best group of friends I think I may ever have. They were christians. They went to church. We didn’t go partying or drinking or doing drugs. We had movie nights and went to church camp together. It was amazing. But, then came senior year. That’s when I thought I had it all figured out. That’s when I thought that I knew best and it was time to make my own mistakes. If I had a catchline, that was it. “I have to make my own mistakes!” I said that to my parents, to my friends, to my siblings. In reality, they were trying to save me from myself. They were trying to help me carry my burdens (Galatians 6:2). I was way more focused on doing things myself even though I knew it was wrong. My senior year, I found friends that probably weren’t the best influences. They weren’t raised in the church. They were raised differently than I was. So when my group of friends tried to warn me, I threw my catchline out and went on about my business. I remember thinking, “Jeez. My friends are prudes. I need to just move on. I’m clearly more mature than they are.” WRONG. Gosh, I was so wrong.
In my senior year, after my ‘serious boyfriend’ at the time and I broke up, I may have went off the deep end. I went to my first party. I drank for the first time. And all the sudden, I found myself with a totally different group of friends. I left the youth group. I had helped put my youth group back together after losing our long-term youth minister. I welcomed the new minister with open arms and helped him build it back up. I encouraged the younger kids to join us. I tried to help think of fun activities that would bring kids back to youth group. But then I left. I went and hung out with the college kids instead. And I was welcomed with open arms. And I got pretty involved. But I was leading a double life. I was smoking marijuana and drinking all the time. I went to church almost every day. I did things with the college ministry. Then after I left, I would go and live the fun life I wanted to live.
Why did things change all of the sudden? To be honest, I met a friend and we had the same problem. She went to the other high school in town, where my ex went. And I went to the same school her ex went to. In fact, her ex was one of my best friends in that awesome group. And we promised we would keep an eye out for each other. That led to wanting to be more like her. She was a free spirit. She did what she wanted, when she wanted. We were best friends for 3 years. Inseparable. But let me be clear. I chose this. She didn’t force me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I wanted to be more like her. Free and wild. It’s so tempting to be something you’re not. I tried to help her carry her burdens and indeed I was tempted (Galatians 6:1).
When I did change, my awesome group of friends left. In fact, I don’t talk to any of them anymore. I try to keep up with them via Facebook. But it’s not the same. They left me. And for good reason. I don’t blame any of them for even a split second. I didn’t want them around. I thought I had it figured out. I thought that my new friends were forever type of friends. For the record, they weren’t. I don’t talk to any of them anymore either.
About a year ago, I befriended a girl from high school. We were both pretty mean to each other in high school. But, we were friends on Facebook. If I remember correctly, she asked about Jesus in a status and I jumped on the opportunity. She hadn’t led the best life to that point, and I tried to take her under my wing. And to be frank, I wasn’t prepared for that type of relationship. I want to say this in the best way. She leaned on me a lot. She was kind and sweet. But I was not ready for the type of commitment it took to help her. I wasn’t strong enough. And instead, I dumped her. So instead of learning from the hurt that my friends left me with when they disappeared, I disappeared on her. (Galatians 6:10) Be good. Especially when they belong to the family of believers. And I know that I will reap what I sow for that. (Galatians 6:8).
Live your life to the fullest. Be free. But do it all with Christ in your life. Be good to those around you. Not for your own gain, but because you want to. Being free with Christ feels so much better than being free without Him. I know that from personal experience. A personal experience that I don’t want any of you to go through.
Dear Lord, I bring you these girls. I hope that they take my message to heart. I hope they live good sincere lives. Help them be good to all. Help them see that good always wins. And that being good is way better than being mean or judgmental. Let them see the truth and keep them from temptation. In your son’s name I pray, amen.