“As soon as you share your concerns about swearing or about avoiding certain movies or about sexual purity or just plain godliness, people look at you like you have a moralistic dab of cream cheese on your face from the 1950s.” – Kevin DeYoung, “The Hole in Our Holiness”
I love this quote above because it speaks so much truth. Within a week, I will be 21 years of age, and to tell you the truth, I am not planning a big blow out of a celebration for it at all. I do not plan on getting trashed that day like society claims is the right thing to do. In fact, I probably won’t have a drink on my birthday. I told someone that the other day, and he judged me for it. In fact, most everybody that I say that to judges me.
God specifically calls His people to not get drunk in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” He does not say there is a problem with consuming alcohol. He says there is a problem with getting drunk. God gave us pleasures to be enjoyed, but not to be over excessively and uncontrollably consumed.
This past weekend, my fiancé and I spent time with a wonderful group of friends. Yes, there was alcohol, and no, I did not drink. The best part was we had a great time of fellowship and a gathering of believers that did not involve drunkenness. Now, I am not writing this to harp on people and tell them how to live their lives. No, I am writing this to keep myself accountable, as well as share truth.
You know, I think that is what a lot of people who tend to judge believers do not understand. We, as believers, are tempted just as much as everyone else. Just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, does not mean we do not face the same temptations as everyone else every day because, believe me, we do. Even Jesus was tempted! Perfect, sinless Jesus was tempted, and yet He did not give in! “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15. He knows exactly how we feel. Despite what some people may believe, that is beautiful and so encouraging!
Yes, I will fail and I will sin, but I can be encouraged knowing that my pain and my temptations were not beyond Jesus. To know that the One who loves me with such a deep and unconditional love experienced all of life’s temptations, did not give in, and yet still loves me who does give in most days, that is incredible. He is a someone worthy to be praised and adored. I know I will be able to face any temptation or trial that comes my way only through His power and strength. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Yes, I know that when I turn 21, I will constantly face the judgements of people who are shocked to know that I will not get drunk, or I will constantly face judgements for being sexually pure, or I will constantly face judgements for growing in my relationship with Christ. No matter where I am in my life, I will always face judgements. I know I am not perfect either. Judging me for what I believe or how I live my life, though, is not beneficial to anyone. I could finish this by saying do not judge, and it could be as simple as that, but I know life does not work that way. Humans are sinful; by our very nature, we judge. So instead of telling you not judge, I will ask you this: Where’s your heart? Take five minutes to ask yourself, why do I judge others in the first place? I can tell you right now, I tend to judge people out of insecurity. I want to be someone that I am not, or I get jealous or envious. But that does no good for the human soul and heart. It is in those nasty moments we need Jesus the most. We should not let the fear of judgment stop us from being whom God created us to be, instead we should all strive to add the cream cheese on our faces.