Confessions of an Ex-Racist Christian

This morning I woke up and felt led to open one of my journals. As I read it, I laughed at a few of my foolish request, and I smiled at my growth as a human trying to learn how to live this life. Since it is  Throw back Thursday, I will share an entry of Introspection from September 9, 2015:

I believe one of the hardest thing for a person to admit,especially a Christian, is he or she is a racist. No one who claims to love God wants to admit they have a problem with His creation; but it is  part of the Church’s reality. It took me roughly 25 years, six years ago, to admit racism lived in my heart. It was something I tried to ignore, but, living in the South and becoming more aware of the injustices of my tribe, I found myself HATING white people. I  found it difficult to admit my racism because I had friends I genuinely cared about although I could care less about their kind. To my credit, I did not hate my friends just all of the “other” white people smh… I figured, if I refrained from watching slave movies that it would go away. I thought, if I tried harder to befriend them that it would go away. I assumed, if I tried to replace negative thoughts about them with good ones my problem would be fixed. Oh how I assumed incorrectly! The more I attempted to fix a heart issue with my logic, I despised them more. Finally, I had a moment of truth with God because the hate in my heart was conflicting with the cry of my heart to love him and his people.  I poured my heart out to Him concerning the matter. I confessed that I was in fact a racist, and I held deep hate in my heart towards Caucasians. I confessed that my knowledge of how their ancestors treated my tribe and how some treat us today makes it difficult to forgive and love them. I even admitted that I felt I had both the right and plenty of reasons to stay angry with them. I repented for claiming to love God and hate his creation. I knew I could not be an effective dispenser of God’s love to the world with this kind of hate in my heart towards people. I asked God to change my heart and teach me how to gather knowledge without hate being attached to it. When I decided to be honest about the condition of my heart, God did an amazing work in it. I no longer carry that Hate I did towards my lighter brothers and sisters. I stopped  accusing them all of being one way based on the actions of a few. I truly make a conscious effort to judge a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Life has truly been much sweeter with hate out of my heart. Thank you God for helping me!-Charity

For those who will read this, particularly those who claim to be Christians, please consider your ways.  Take the time to tell God how you truly feel about certain groups of people. 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” My encouragement to each of us is to be honest about who we are in God’s presence so that we can love as God commands us. We as believers cannot expect the condition of the world to change when we refuse to change and deal with the hate in our hearts. I am praying for each us that we would truly allow the love of God to permeate our hearts and be the change this world needs. Thanks for reading!-Charity Israel

The Blessing of Confession

PhotoGrid_1469807035387Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”-Psalm 32:5

For the last few days I have been meditating on this scripture; and reflecting over the many times in my life that I wanted to live in rebellion rather than experience redemption. I remember the countless times I tried to justify certain thoughts, behaviors, and motives. I can recall the plethora of times that I lingered in sin a little longer than I should have and the consequences that accompanied such dumb life decisions.

Once I started to get serious about my relationship with God honesty became a requirement for it to function properly. As I began to spend time in prayer and studying scripture, sin was not so easy to commit or leave unconfessed. The magnitude of His love compelled me to tell the truth about me. I could no longer pretend that the life I was living was one that pleased Him. I had two options: to live a lie and remain outside of his presence or to start confessing so that I could fully enjoy His presence. Like the psalmist I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”

I John 1:9 tells us “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” As I did this I began to experience freedom from guilt, shame, and public opinion of my past. Assurance in God’s forgiveness produces freedom. However, we will NEVER know that freedom if we choose to remain in rebellion and unconfessed sin. We will spend our time trying to justify our actions to ourselves and to those around us. Even worse we will become reprobate and sever our relationship with God. He never leaves us, but we will leave Him as we allow both shame and pride to keep us from confessing what we have done. One of the most cunning weapons of the enemy is to convince us that we have done too much wrong to receive the love and forgiveness of God; and I am here to tell you that as the “Father of Lies” that is one of his greatest lies!!!

The Truth of the matter is “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” (Rom. 5:8,9) There is no sin, outside of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, that will keep you from the forgiving grace of God. If he sent His son while we were in sin, surely any sin we have committed is forgivable if we are willing to confess it. Do not allow the enemy of your soul or even yourself talk you out of receiving the freedom from guilt that is made available to us through confession.

God sent Christ so that we could have the opportunity to have a relationship with Him if we so desire it. Do not let the moments of slipping or even falling into sin keep you out experiencing the beauty of having a relationship with the Creator of the universe. He gave us an anecdote for renewing our relationship with Him after we have fallen prey to the sin and our selfish desires. Confession is the key, and it is a blessing to those who will humble themselves and tell God the truth. I pray from this day forward you will choose to confess instead of cover up. You will never have peace inside until you reconcile your relationship with the One who made you, and confession makes it possible. I pray you will find the time to do it.-Charity Israel

Have You Talked to God Today?

Today I found myself humming the hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven. I will admit I only knew the first verse, and I thought it would be cool to add it as part of today’s blog. I soon discovered that a hymn written in 1855, said everything I desired to say as an encouragement to others on February 17, 2015. I hope that as you read the lyrics of this song, you find solace in talking with God. I hope you come to realize as His child that he takes delight in listening to the things that weigh on your heart. If you do not have a relationship with God, I hope these lyrics reveal the magnitude of God’s love for you and His desire to have a relationship with you:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer

 Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there

Point of it All: As a Christian, one of the beautiful things about our faith is we are considered friends not just servants (John 15:15). Considering the fact, Jesus gave His life so that we can have direct access to God, it would behoove us to converse with Him about everything! We have two options: live in the peace found in prayer or worry like the world does. Our anecdote for dealing with the affairs of this world is taking them to the Lord in prayer. Today, I hope you have a conversation with God. He’s looking forward to hearing from you and taking the load of this life you are carrying.-Charity Israel

Hymn Credit: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/What_a_Friend_We_Have_in_Jesus/

 

The Day God Lied

 

csa

Yesterday I was considering where my life is compared to where I desire it to be. I thought about the promise I believe God has spoken concerning my life; and I thought about the time that has passed since hearing them. Shortly before accusing God of being a liar, the things I failed to do came to my remembrance. As I sat with the thoughts of His promises and my slothfulness, also known as disobedience, this CSA (Christian Service Announcement) came to me:

Obey the first set of instructions before you start complaining about what God has failed to do. You have to participate to see the manifestation of some promises in your life.

As I sat with this thought, three people came to mind: Abraham (Gen. 12-25),  Hannah (1 Samuel 1), and Jesus (Philippians 2:8-11). In order for Abraham to become the Father of Many Nations, he had to leave his hometown. In order for Hannah to receive her son, she had to pray like a drunken women before those in the temple.  Jesus had to die on the cross, in order to obtain the name above all names. All three of these people had one thing in common, they participated in the promise. They went where they were instructed.  They abandoned their comfort zones. And one gave up his life in order to experience the manifestation of the promise.

After reflecting upon their stories, I had to consider my own ways. I had acknowledge that every Promise I shouted over had a set of instructions that I overlooked. I could no longer hold God solely responsible for my position in life. I refused to Go where he suggested. I refused to sow my time, money, or service where He was asking me. And it was I, who allowed the comforts of my complacency to keep me from stepping out on faith in His word. #guiltyascharged

Sitting with this discovery of my disobedience, I had two options available to me. I could soak in self-condemnation, or I could repent and start fresh. I opted for the latter. I asked God to forgive me for accusing Him of being a liar. I acknowledged that my disobedience has been the hold up in reaching my dreams. I repented for comparing my position in life with others; and I asked the Holy Spirit to help me redirect my focus on  the assignment God has for me.

It has only been 24 hours, so I cannot boast about some grand change taking place; but I have faith I am back on schedule. To the person reading this that can relate to my slothfulness, I hope you choose the latter as well. God forgives, and He is always ready to restore us. You can prolong the process and wallow in regret, or you can repent and move forward. The beauty of the Christian faith is that it is one of gradual perfection, meaning each day is another chance to get it right. #choosewisely