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10 February 2008

Our Lobby Furniture

Is the image I present as I conduct myself in everyday life one that is a decided reflection of the new life that I have been given in Christ? Do I live in a state of thankfulness, or do I instead have an overall attitude of negativity?

Recognizing and then correcting mindsets and habits that have been ingrained in us from childhood can be difficult tasks.

I sometimes feel a little guilty that so many of my thoughts here focus on the simple attitudes of the heart of a Christ-follower rather than more of the “going deep” aspects of Christianity. However, I’ve seen that this is an area of neglect in the lives of most that follow Christ. I have seen people get their “tickets to heaven” and then completely neglect the absolutely necessary factor of making Jesus Christ the Lord (the supreme authority, the controller, the master) of their lives. In some cases this may be because the commitment that was supposedly made was simply not genuine (Matthew 7:20). In others it may be because they have not been discipled since their conversion (Matthew 28:20). In still others it may be stubbornness of will that keeps them from growing in their relationship with Christ. (Be careful! Revelation 3:15-16)

When my wife and I traveled to the neighboring city of Decatur, AL for a hospital visit last week, we walked into the lobby and I was immediately transported back in time to some point around 1967, I’d guess. I wasn’t around then, but I’ve seen pictures (and I owned a ’67 Mustang for a while). And now I’ve seen it in real life. The look of the lobby did not inspire my confidence in the hospital’s state-of-the-artness. I wondered if their medical equipment would be as antique as those “mod” turquoise chairs.

As it turns out, the hospital did have state-of-the-art medical equipment; they were just lacking in their lobby seating and d├ęcor. The staff was very professional and courteous. Apparently the hospital has chosen to place a priority on staff and medical tools instead of the first-impression pieces in the lobby. (If they had to choose one or the other, I’m thankful that they chose the former).

If a change of our heart and purpose in life has taken place, it follows that our personality and interaction with others – our lobby furniture – should follow; we’re not on some sort of a budget that dictates one over the other. Typically these things will not “magically” or automatically change, but the change will require action on our part: a departure from attitudes and reactions that have been learned, and a replacement of those with new, Spirit-led actions and attitudes.

“Surrender” must be a verb before it can possibly be a continual posture. In the life of a Christ-follower both forms of the word must be exercised.


Pam said...

Dean, I couldn't agree more. Preach it Brother! :)

Preston N said...

Dean, I could not agree more with this post. This is the very definition of repentance - true and actual repentance. As you have said on this blog once before - there is no partial surrender! Only total submission and surrender to God is accepted by our Father in Heaven. Therefore, if we think we can continue to sin "in word, thought and deed daily" then we have yet to surrender totally!

cosmiccowgirl said...

This reminds me of our lesson from Sunday School this morning. We are talking about "Radical Renovation", and Mark 8:25-38, and how we should not be "comfortable christians" but strive to take up the cross every day. Of course this is easier said than done, requires discipline and commitment that scares off many folk.

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