A few weeks ago a sweet friend to the blog (and co-founder of Fierce Faithful Fabulous out of Oklahoma City), shared some of her dating woes with her online friends. Ceanti’ has entered her 30’s single, and has been called to chastity until marriage (and maybe one day we’ll convince her to write about it here). While that is not terribly revolutionary in the Christian ideal, this conviction is rare out here in the world, and she encountered a forceful version of the old “I wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it” response from a man who was never named (luckily for him, she has more class than some of us) while getting to know him. Ceanti’ listened to her heart, and the conviction God has given her, and moved on.
Today’s reading is all about listening to God and moving in his direction. Deuteronomy 2:1-3.29 tells the story of Israel following the ancient times version of Google Map directions from God and Luke 6.12-38 is about the apostles accepting Christ as the voice of God (and Christian Law). What we forget often when we read these passages is that each of us is called by God individually. Christ did not turn to every disciple to become an apostle, just 12 of them – we are not all called to serve in the same way.
When Ceanti’ shared her frustration with her friends about this dating encounter, two things happened. 1) A collective internet friend outcry of “oh hell no,” 2) a really thoughtful conversation about conviction and condemning other’s choices. You see she and I do not share this conviction. Though we have been friends for a long time, we differ greatly in our choices in this aspect of life. It is no secret that I “live in sin” (cue Teara, and all of the cousins and aunties playing Queen Bey’s “Put A Ring On It”), but I considered my lack of a conviction just as seriously as Ceanti’ considered the presence of hers- for both of us this is a heavily weighed physical, emotional and spiritual decision, that comes down to our conversations and personal covenant with God.
Today’s passages include scripture that I pray and quote regularly:
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
How powerful is it to return the desire to judge back to God? How powerful is it to turn our focus away from measuring others to the calling God has given us? Ceanti’ and I live our lives as we have been called to – and what makes this ten plus year friendship work is that we don’t expect the other to live differently, or condemn them for living the way they do. She is not a prude, and I am not a slut – we are called. Two weeks ago she said something I wish more of us would hear, so I am going to repeat it:
My conviction is not your condemnation.
We can live together differently without passing judgement upon one another. So today, let’s pray to live our convictions, and that others may live theirs. (And that we stop comparing women to cars and cows)