I question myself often, “Why do you keep doing the same old thing expecting different results?” My Christian journey seems to be more like a dysfunctional GPS than a spirit-filled meandering through this thing called life.
I had a friend. Well, I’ve had more than one friend, but this friend is one I held onto dearly. I held on because I feel like I need to show her Christ. I should feel this for all of my friends, and I do to a certain point, but lots of my friends know Jesus. This friend knows Jesus because she went to a religious school Kindergarten through her high school years. She heard scripture over and over. She was told to obey the commandments and judged if she stepped out of line. She has walls.
I began the friendship with her when our children were young and attended school together. She was fun and adventurous. All the things I like!
Our friendship grew over long hours standing along the sidelines of fields, in the auditorium for theater productions, and social gatherings with other parents.
Over time, I was hoping to share my faith and lead her to a deeper relationship with Christ. However, my social discomfort kept me from sharing openly. Little by little, her fun was a little farther than my faith customarily allowed. One toe dipped in the water of excitement led to words I didn’t usually say, laughing at jokes I regularly avoided, and late nights that had been put to rest many years before.
I had dedicated my life to Christ, surrendering all to Jesus. I was filled with a conviction to leave my past behaviors and begin to be more like Jesus. I allowed this friendship to lure me back into actions that I left in the past.
When the Samaritan woman met Jesus, they had a long conversation by the well. She was stunned a Jewish man would sit with her, alone, and talk about such intimate topics regarding her life. Jesus offered her something she could not deny, living water.
If you haven’t visited the story in John 4, take the time to read it. It is an amazing story of acceptance, forgiveness, and an offering of eternal life.
When the Samaritan woman met Jesus, she was convinced that His offer was one she couldn’t refuse.
“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’” John 4: 28-29
She was so amazed at His message she left her water jar behind to go tell others.
The water jar was her one job that day, to bring back water to sustain the life of her household. But the living water Jesus offered was greater. It was so great she ran back to the village to tell others. The people of the village had rejected her because of her actions, but they accepted her words because she said everything with freedom not shame.
The disciples also left something behind when they followed Jesus. They left their nets, the source of their income, to be His disciples.
To follow Jesus, we need to leave something behind.
Unforgiveness of self and others
I didn’t leave my friend behind. We are still hanging tight even in long distances. What I left behind was the lack of confidence and fear of not being accepted. I left behind the whisper in my ear that took me farther away from what I know is true.
With boldness, share why we walk away from the jokes, don’t say the words, or avoid places of temptation.
We need to change to get different results. Recalibrate the GPS to a direction that leads straight to Him.
Leave it all behind. Cling to Jesus.
I challenge you to answer this question:
Can my current habits carry me into the immeasurably more God desires to do in and through my life?
What have you left behind?
What are you still holding onto?
What is one thing you will leave behind starting now?
Leave me a comment so I can be praying for you.