Human behavior is fascinating. The other day I was finishing up a phone conversation in my car before going in the gym. As I sat in my parking space, I watched a young adult pull in a few spots away, finish “enjoying” her cigarette, and then get out of her car with her water bottle and towel to go work out.
The obvious incongruence of her behavior got my attention, and then a few thoughts came to me. First, what came to me was, she didn’t seem to see any issue with what she was doing. Then I had a second thought (probably not my own)… followers of Jesus do this ALL the time. Many times, our behavior doesn’t fit what even unbelievers know to be the right thing. And like the young adult going in the gym to maintain her fitness might say, “What… what issue?”
I sensed God was showing me a memorable, incongruent (at least to me anyway) picture to shake me up and make me examine my life as a Jesus follower to see if any of my behaviors are inconsistent, oblivious-to-me, yet so-obvious-to-the-world, even downright embarrassing to the One who I call Savior. I am soooo glad He loves me just as I am, and enough not to leave me that way.
Here’s a dangerous prayer I’ve prayed often in the past year. (Warning! Praying this will cause extreme discomfort, and might be one of the best things you’ve ever done!) Pray at your own risk… and reward.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path that leads to life eternal. Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.