28 July, 2010

Jesus Is Better Than Vodka

Reprinted from Ashley Weis...

Jesus Is Better Than Vodka:

I'm extreme. Really extreme. There are some things I pray for temperance with, but others ... others I pray for the strength to follow through with my extremity.


I don't wear makeup anymore. Sorry if that upsets some of you, but I don't want that stuff anywhere near my face. I want to be real. Monday was the first time I had 'real deal' pictures taken of me without makeup, and I never once thought about it until today. That is a miracle considering how much I once relied on makeup to feel worthy of a camera in my face.


I know makeup is something some people want, and that's fine, but for me ... I know in my own heart that it is nothing short of vanity. I want to be real, and in order to be real and secure in who I am (without masks) I knew I personally needed to get rid of makeup. So, I've been done for awhile. I don't miss it. I don't own any. And I'm more secure in who God made me to be than I ever have been. I can also rub my eyes when they itch without worrying about messing up my makeup. I love that. I have found so much freedom in this.


I also don't use birth control. But I'm starting to wonder. Is this an area that needs temperance? Is natural family planning wise? Am I still trusting God 100% if I control when and how many kids I have? Because I want to trust Him in all things.


I'm also incapable of decorating our house without asking myself why I am more important that someone down the street who can't afford to paint their house? Why do I think about painting my own room before I think about offering to paint a poor single mother's house? Why am I spending money on trivial things like pictures and decorations and flowers when I could be spending that money on someone else who would be so happy that it would literally make their year if someone did that for them?


Why?


I think this so much. I walk Gwen on the porch a lot right now. We have a bar near us. I see the same man passionately walk to the bar every day, sometimes very early. He's obviously quite passionate about alcohol. I don't want an alcoholic to be more passionate about alcohol than I am about Jesus Christ.


Ouch, right?


I thought about it the other day. Do I get up with the same passion as that man to spend time with my Lord? Do I drink down the Living Water with the same desire and passion as an alcoholic drinks whiskey? Alcoholism starts off with just one drink, but soon ... you need another drink. You don't feel like you can survive without that drink, so you always, always drink.


Am I drinking of Christ with the same passion?


I want to.


I want so, so much more of Him and so, so much less of me. I don't want to care about what I look like, dress like, or what others think of me. I don't want to decorate my house while others need it more than I do. I don't want to spend money on clothing for myself when someone else needs it more than I do. I don't want to care about the taste of what I eat, I just want to eat to survive. I don't want to be so concerned with myself, I want to be so concerned with others that I totally forget to be concerned about myself.


I want to take care of myself, but I don't want to be concerned with myself.


I want to live for Him, for others. I want to live poorly (even if we have the money one day not to), so that others may live better lives. It's so hard for me to spend money on new clothing when people in Africa are dying from lack of clean water. Who am I that I should live better than they?


I want to give when I have nothing to give. I want to pour my heart into the poor, instead of just money and stuff. I want to live for others.


One decoration I do want for our house is this:


I want every mirror to be painted with a transparent-ish picture of Jesus, that way no one can ever look in a mirror in our house without looking at themselves through Christ.


That's the message that lives in my heart. And I want the reminder every day. If I ever pass a mirror, I never want to see myself without looking at my own eyes through the eyes of Christ.


Always, always ... I want to see myself and the world around me through Him. I want more of Him in my reflection and less of me.


Oh, Lord ... let it be so. Let me be poor. Let me suffer. Let me die to myself, to this world, to be closer to You.


It's tough for me to balance some things. It's tough for me to know when to be extreme and when to find temperance. But one thing is for sure ... I never want temperance when it comes to being more like Him. I never want temperance when it comes to following Him and loving Him and others through Him. I want MORE passion than an alcoholic has for alcohol ... and for any Christian who doesn't have more passion for Christ than an alcoholic has for alcohol ... shame on us. Shame.


Jesus Christ is so much better than vodka, so much more life-giving.


Let's drink of Him. Passionately.

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