Culture vs. Kingdom

"We are not citizens of a culture, we are citizens of a kingdom."

 A quote that I heard 2 weeks ago at Bible Study Fellowship has stuck with me.  Our speaker Joan who gives us weekly lectures on our study of Genesis was reminding us that we don't have to feel like we have to do what our peers are doing or what the culture says is acceptable.

We answer to God.  We have higher standards of living.  I don't have to feel like I need to keep up with the Joneses or do what "everybody else is doing".  My authority is ultimately God, not my peers.

Somehow this is very easy to teach our children.  We say to them, "Well I don't care what Susie Q's mom does or Johnnny's parents, you live in this house and we have different rules."  But somehow we forget that it is a very difficult concept to learn even as adults.

How many times have I felt slightly embarrassed that we have chosen to  home school when people ask my kids, "Are you in school yet?"  Or how many times have I felt weird that we don't tell our kids about Santa Claus bringing them gifts.  Obviously these things are my choices and I should be fine with them.  But it is very hard to go against the culture and have to explain all the whys to our peers.  It would be much much easier to just go with the flow...  I even remember people asking me when I was going to stop breastfeeding Mark when he was only a few months old and I remember feeling like, "Am I doing something wrong if I choose to breastfeed him longer?"  Obviously I knew it wasn't wrong, but sometimes culture can make you feel that way.

Even in the heated debates among Christians there are convictions that people have that they try to make others feel as though the convictions that God gave them is now everyone's conviction...or should be!  And that is where condemning and judging come into play.  Two things we don't need.  Aren't we taught that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ?  Aren't we supposed to be loving to each other?  Why do we feel it necessary to put each other down and place our own issues on others?  Sometimes Christians can be the worst at this!  Aren't there enough black and white issues in the bible about sin?  Do we really need to make up more rules for each other to follow?  Isn't that legalism?

I need to constantly remind myself that I am not a citizen of this culture.  I am a citizen of a kingdom.  Ultimately I answer to God not to my peers.  I live for an audience of one.  I live in a culture, but I should not feel forced to do what everybody else is doing.  God will convict me of areas I need to fix and God will convict others what they need to fix.  All my decisions need to be filtered through the lens of my Bible and by a whole lot of prayer!!!

So I'm praying that this year I can live more like that...honoring God and caring less what people think.


2 comments:

  1. Amen Kristi. This is something alot of us, as christians need to learn and PRACTICE. Too many of us are judgemental as well. Well said!
    By the way, your blog is working now :)

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  2. Caring less about what people think is a constant struggle for me. When you wrote, "Do we really need to make up more rules for each other to follow?" made me think of the sermon our pastor preached yesterday, and one of the points he made was that we need to be careful not to add to what God has said (he used the example of Eve in the garden when the serpent asked what God had said about the fruit and how she added 'rules' to what God had said). You are so right, and not alone in your struggle with this :)

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