Intentionality

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I was in a ladies Bible class one day that was discussing the definition of religious.

One woman taught English as a Second Language classes at a university. She mentioned religious Muslims in her classes who stopped three times a day on campus to pray in their traditional way. She explained to those students that the people in our area are religious in ways that are quieter and less obvious. I’m not putting it as well as she did. In her sweet and gentle way, she explained to them that she also has a faith that is real and important.

Later that same day Ray and I were in a discussion with a man (I’ll call him James) who brought up a conflict between two people he knew. James wanted us to know that he was and had always been neutral in the conflict. Ray knew the situation well. He later pulled James aside privately and gently encouraged him to stop being neutral and to give support to the person who had been wronged in the situation.

The world would have us believe that some aspects of life are religious and some are secular. It would have us believe that we can be neutral.

During the week that Jesus was crucified, the chief priests and elders came to Jesus and asked Him by what authority He did what He did. Jesus replied with a question, asking whether John the Baptist’s baptism was from God or from men. They answered:

“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people;
for they all regard John as a prophet.”
And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.”
Matthew 21:25-27

Talk about wishy-washy! These chief priests and elders refused to take a stand. Jesus told them that He wouldn’t answer their question.

I remember a friend who shared an illustration he had once heard from a minister. The minister said that none of us is ever still. We are either going toward God or away from Him. When we try to stay neutral, it is as if we are in a river that is taking us away from God.

When we see a river, let’s think about whether we are living with intentionality or whether we are drifting. Let’s teach our children to live with intentionality, too.

Jesus said:

He who is not with Me is against Me.
Matthew 12:30

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