Partly because two days later I was at my OB appointment and while in the waiting room, saw a clip of Anderson Cooper giving a commencement address at Tulane University in New Orleans. This is what he said, (taken directly from his speech - emphasis mine)
"I couldn’t tell you what happened at my commencement. And it’s not just that I don’t remember what the speaker said, I don’t even remember who the speaker was. So I’m not nervous anymore.. cause you’re not going to remember a damn thing I say. You’re going to wake up tomorrow.. in your own bed, or someone else’s…if you’re lucky. Hey, you’re not going to see most of these people ever again, so why not go for it? Your parents have to go to sleep at some point. Anyway, you’re going to wake up tomorrow, and today will be a blur."
I sat there stunned. Did a world famous, well-respected news correspondant just condone premarital, casual sex in front of thousands of college students, their younger siblings and their families? He did! WHY?
Because he is speaking and acting as an unsaved person speaks and acts.
There should be no surprise.
I came home and kept replaying his words in my mind and realized something very important. It IS true - those who do not love God do not care about the standards of God. They are not seeking to honor Him or obey Him and they live each day for self. But there are many Christians who do the same. Christians - people who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior - living with someone they are not married to, never attending church, drinking in excess, club hopping, watching/listening to inappropriate things, engaging in casual sex ... living like the world, without conviction and with instant defensiveness if called out on it. Basically, "I call myself a Christian but I am going to live however I want to, not apologize for it, and I expect you to accept me without judgment." And we do! Christians who are not perfect and sin each day, but are striving to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ, say nothing. Nothing! We condone their lifestyle choices, which are completely contrary to God's Word, with the sin of silence.
Why? Because we do not want them to hate us. We do not want to "lose them". We want them to feel loved and accepted. If we speak the truth they may walk away and then how will they come back to the Lord? Bottom line: we want everyone to like us and when we call out sin, people are not fond of us. From my own experience I can say, they usually hate us. And they will walk away.
I will not bore you with the countless times I have been screamed at, criticized and ditched because I spoke the truth. My spiritual gift is prophecy, which means I love the Word of God and I want everyone to know what it says, what He requires and I want them to obey. Now! :o) There is a reason prophets were hung, beheaded and walked around weeping. People do not like hearing the truth when they are in sin - they want to do what they want to do without consequences. But God's Word says that is not possible. You cannot serve God and satan. You must choose.
So, let's look at God's Word. Read and meditate on what God is calling you to do. It will always be difficult to speak truth to those you love when your your relationship may be on the line. (And having been on the receiving end of rebuke I know it is hard to hear, and it stings. But it always yields growth and begins the refining process if you are obedient to the Holy Spirit.) Let me ask you this ~ would you rather have people you care about love you on earth and spend eternity in hell or hate you on earth for a little while and be standing next to you in heaven?
The Lord can redeem anyone. He is always waiting. He desires for all to come to salvation. He gave his Son to die for us. This is a GOOD GOD!
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with it's passions and desires." Galatians 5:24
"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you." Romans 8:6-9
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13
"He who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is sin." James 4:17
"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." James 4:4
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." James 5:16
"My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." James 5:19,20
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently."
"What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6: 1,2
" ...count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. For sin shall not be your master ..." Romans 6:11, 12, 14
"No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him." I John 3:6
“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.” I Corinthians 5:9-13
And for encouragement ...
"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." Romans 4:7,8
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:9,10
"Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." II Corinthians 5:17
We need to be more concerned with a person's HOLINESS than their happiness.