Galatians 3:24-5 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
No one who is not an idiot goes to school, graduates and then deliberately forgets everything that they learned in school. Did you stop reading, stop doing math, stop writing, the day after you graduated? No. But you no longer had to do schoolwork, and you no longer sat around comparing your test scores. Because you’d graduated. Now you’re supposed to be using the knowledge you acquired during your school sessions.
So is it with the Law and the Christian. I don’t think this just means the OT law. It’s not like we can meet the requirements of the NT law, it’s that we’re supposed to keep trying, to keep ourselves open to the Holy Spirit, to allow Him to work His fruit in our lives. We’re not taking a test in grammar, we’re writing a book. And if we fail, we have the stupid little blue lines to show us where we went wrong, so we can fix things and move on.
I’m writing this blog to the mature Christian, and more particularly the mature Christian woman (although my subject matter tends not to be terribly girly). I expect that you’ve already got the “do not steal” thing down. Sure, sometimes you have to remind yourself to bring the pen you absentmindedly stuck in your purse home from work, but … you have this. GOOD. But that’s not where we were meant to stop. We’re supposed to *build*, not stay static.
Everyone has a job. My job is not to tell you how to keep house or iron the cat. My job is to remind you that you’ve got other work to do which is to be done simultaneously with the work you’re working with your hands. It’s the bigger purpose. If you do your housework as unto the Lord, if you’re remembering that you’re raising children up in the admonition of the Lord, if you’re being kind to the people around you because God said so… then guess what? People notice. I don’t think that it’s much use to stand around competing with one another as women in the shininess of our kitchen sinks. Clean the sink, go be nice to a shut-in. People are forever, dishes are for today. It’s not that we don’t need clean sinks – we *do*. And the bar for decency is set so low at the moment, we *really* need to show the younger generation, the young in Christ, how to be a decent wife and mother. Yepperoo. But we don’t *all* need to do that. And that’s not all we need to do.
Because we live in a time when Christian decency isn’t something that can be taken for granted. Common human decency can’t be taken for granted. The “bar”? It’s around ankle level. Don’t trip on it, please. See, we need to be standing tall – for Christ. That means not just being good wives and mothers, but saying, “I’m a Christian”. *This* is how Christians do life. Because life is being done very poorly now, we have a chance to shine very brightly for our Lord. Even those of you who consider yourselves ordinary, know that ordinary is now extraordinary. You don’t have to be perfect before you admit that you belong to Christ. In fact, I don’t think it does any harm to admit that you’re not perfect while you call on Christ.
I’ll give an example. I like nothing better than a bit of gossip. That’s why both my blogs have the “no shooting fish in barrels” policy. It’s not that I mind debate (I don’t. Go right ahead and disagree with me). It’s that I can be quite catty when I get my tail in a twist, and I know that’s not Christian living. That rule is for ME. That’s why I stopped reading most of my fashion blogs… they combine with celebrity gossip, and I don’t need that trash in my brain, encouraging the inner cat. I know that it’s wrong. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. I know not to gossip. Therefore, I have a no-gossip policy. But since I put it in place, I then ignore it. I’ve never mentioned it, not because it’s particularly embarrassing (although I prefer to pretend to be perfect, like most people) but because it’s not very important. That’s the point. You’re doing something wrong? Confess it, turn away from it, get on with it.
And then … well, maybe you have to do what I just did. “Oh yeah, I don’t watch those shows. I just end up being really gossipy and catty, and that’s not who God wants me to be.” Just be real about it. You can say stuff like that very straightforwardly, and go on with your life – or you can say stuff like that as if it’s *everyone’s* burden to bear. If you can watch the Fashion Police and not gossip, and you enjoy that sort of thing – well, have fun with that. Not my cup of tea, but I’m not the Holy Spirit and it’s not my job to convict you. You don’t need to get self-righteous. I don’t skip the fashion shows because of my strength, but because of my weakness. But I don’t bother talking about it (except now, for an example) because it’s not terribly interesting, it’s not something new that I have to process, it’s just a thing.
And you can tell a non-Christian that and be a witness. Really. You can.
After all… there aren’t too many Auntie Ems around, refusing to tell Elmira Gulch off because they’re Christians. It made a witness to old Elmira, even if she didn’t do anything about it. Now? Now it would probably cause someone’s jaw to drop. Specially if they knew that’s how you *always* acted, and that you weren’t sugar-sweet about it, you just sometimes shut your trap when you’d really rather not.
Think it over. 🙂