Samantha looked at her older sister in what seemed to be complete innocence.
"Mom and dad have told you not to go out on the road!" Natalie said in frustration, signaling for her sister to come towards her.
"I'm not on the road!" Samantha replied in defiance.
Natalie rolled her eyes in exasperation. Yes, Samantha was right. She wasn't actually on the road. But she was close enough that she could still get hurt... and her action also screamed of rebellion against her parents' instructions.
This is a true story. And its also true in my life as well. When I was a young teenager I found myself pushing the boundaries. I tested everything slowly, trying to find how far was "too far". I was determined to get away with as much as I could, without actually crossing the line. Have you ever done that? Have you ever heard a phrase that your friends use and thought, "Well, it may sound crude... but it’s not really bad. It’s not as if they are cussing a blue streak or anything!" Have you ever watched a movie and thought, "I'm not sure if I appreciate the language that character uses... and that leading lady sure isn't honoring God with her behavior... but it’s just a movie. There aren't many other options for films that I'm allowed to watch anyway." Or, perhaps, you've been in one of these situations:
"This shirt is a little tighter than usual... but it isn't skin tight!"
"This outfit doesn't really portray a godly young person... but this is what's popular."
"I know maybe I was a little flirtatious with 'so-and-so', but we're just friends, so who cares?!"
"Sure, okay, my parents probably don't appreciate this... but I think I can probably get away with it if I don't take it too far."
Do you see a pattern in the list of excuses we come up with to justify our actions? "It's not actually wrong." We think we're not really on the road... we're just on the curb, right next to it. What most people don't see is that in the simple acts of compromise we perform on a daily basis, we're truly stepping out on the street where we can get hurt. The Bible says, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, dwell on these things." So, we're not only supposed to not do the "really bad" stuff... we're only to do the God-honoring stuff! Wow, doesn't that change everything! One thing I try to consider (keep in mind, I'm not perfect about this!) is "What if Christ was sitting right next to me? Would I feel comfortable wearing this outfit? Reading this book? Watching this film? Wow, even thinking this thought?" The interesting thing that always strikes me is that Jesus IS actually right with me while I'm doing everything throughout the day! It also says in Scriptures that we're not to "grieve the Holy Spirit of God", who is within us! We take the Holy Spirit with us wherever we go! He is pulled through the muck that we rush into!
So, are any of you "curb-dwellers"? Maybe even a "street-dweller"? I have some hope for you! You don't have to stay out where you can get hit by cars! If you ask Christ for help, like I did, He will pull you off that road like a loving parent would. And let me tell you, God has a gorgeous yard for you to explore! Away from that dangerous road, there are lush gardens and forests! Living your life in the center of God's will is not always easy, because our sin-nature is always being tempted to push the limits again and wander back towards that highly-trafficked street. But it is an abundant life, full of joy and security. Once I figured that out, I had only one thing to say:
“Sign me up!”
That’s what this blog is about. Young women (and men) in this day and age are taught so many lies and can’t see how much more there really is to be living for. Others are trying to do what’s right, but just aren’t getting the encouragement they need. God has made His children for something more than what our world has to offer.
I’ll be the first to admit how much growing I still have to do. But my purpose here is to share the lessons God is teaching me and to encourage others to live as Christ did, with the big picture in mind.