Matthew 10:33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. (NLT)
The day I got to observe music class at my son’s Pre-K class, the entire group of 4yr olds fixed their focus on praising the Lord for every body part from head to toe. As the calming recording played, their sweet teacher coaxed the kids by name. She patted her knees saying, “Thank-you Lord, for our knees. Isn’t it wonderful that God gave us knees to run and jump with”. And thus she listed the parts of the body as she patted each one, mustering thanksgiving in the children’s hearts, and giving glory to the Lord.
This blessed influential person inspired me to bring to the attention of my own children, the wonders and gifts the Lord gives to us in the simplest of things every day. It made such an impact, that the Lord encouraged me to cultivate my children’s faith in simple ways each chance I got.
Years later I as I pushed my youngest daughter on the swing, the sun shone with exuberance and warmth after many overcast days, in the crisp early spring air. Full of the Spirit and joy at the glorious day, I prompted, “Can you feel that warm sunshine on your face?” I was about to continue, “that the Lord made”, but I paused. What was this? Why did I pause?
My shyness stole my words, as I strangely considered another mom pushing her child next to us. What if this person doesn’t know God, I’m going to sound crazy. Political correctness, or perhaps even pride crippled my focus from teaching God’s message to my children ‘in the way they should go’.
At once, God revealed to me how my focus was distracted. He placed me specifically with an opportunity to be a light in the way of natural conversation with my daughter, yet I restrained myself. I knew this because after arriving an hour early for story time at the library, I prayed before heading over to the park, trusting in the Lord, that He had gifted us with a special task for Him. Yet I defied the Spirit during this divine appointment which He had graciously set up.
Another irresistible teaching moment came up, and again, I resisted. I waited until the other mom slipped out of ears pitch. I missed the opportunity to be salty. Twice now. Ugh.
This kind of failure would usually eat me up for days, but this time it was different. Instead of the familiar condemnation and false guilt, I felt Him encouraging me and teaching me. His conviction highlighted todays key verse – Matthew 10:33, But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. I confessed my sin, and asked Him for boldness. I knew that to truly change, would require a new understanding – a renewal of my mind. I also need His strength to not care about the opinions of others.
We shouldn’t alter the way the Lord has grown us, and ‘hide our lamp under a basket’. After all, in this country, the worst that could happen would be for me to feel awkward at the possibility of people silently thinking negative of me.
Lord, help me be watchful not to hide the light you gave me under a basket. Give me boldness in Your strength, to proclaim Your goodness in front of others. ~Amen
For more on False Guilt, read Romans 8:31-39