Wednesday, October 15, 2014


     I remember when I wanted everything in life to be "fair".  If I put the clothes in the wash, you had to put it in the dryer.  If I washed the dishes, you had to put them away in the cabinet.  Sometimes, this feeling that things need to be "fair" come back- right now, it's clinging pretty hard on my back.
     But you know what they say- "Life's not fair".  It's said to acknowledge an unfair balance in a situation, when there's more things given for me to do than to you- if I have to wash and dry the clothes, for example.  "But I already washed the clothes, why to have to dry them?!  It's not fair!" I complain.  The response- "Life's not fair, Naomi."
     Unfairness is seen as reality in this phrase, and, well, it is reality.  It's how life is; unfairness will poke up its ugly head.  But you know what?  God's not fair either.  And because of that, Christians shouldn't be fair.
     No, I'm not saying that God and his followers stand around placing burdens and cracking the whip- though if a Christian is doing that, there's a serious problem (; see v.46 especially).  What I'm saying is that God's not fair- but in the opposite ways that the world see unfairness.
     When something's not fair, there is an imbalance going on.  Usually that imbalance is to the person saying it's not fair- indicating that their load is heavier than the other person's, or that the other person ruined the balance somehow (cheating in a game, for example, usually warrants cries of, "That wasn't fair!  You cheated!)
     When things are perfectly balanced, it's fair.  And- let's be honest- if God was being "fair" as we define it, all of us would be so weighed down by our sins that we'd all go to hell.
     I know that's not a pleasant thought, but that's what's fair!  But the best part is- God's not fair!  He sent Jesus to die for us, and tipped the balance, taking that weight off out shoulders!  The scales of justice were perfectly balanced, weighing us down, but God took the sin weighing down our side and put it on His side of the scale!  That's crazy- it's not fair, it's not justice!  But it's mercy.  And mercy is an awesome thing.
     And, bringing it all back around- we Christians shouldn't be "fair" either.  Again, when I talk about Christian unfairness, I'm not talking about burdens.  I'm talking about taking the other person's burden, unbalancing the scale by making our side heavier.
     I remember an incident that happened a couple months after I'd come back to God.  I can't remember the exact context of the incident, but I do remember this: I had forgotten to get spoons for the table, and my sister was not happy with me, even though she'd offered to get the spoons (which is why I haven't offered to get them, if I remember correctly).  She openly complained to me about it.
     When this happens, I usually argue right back.  Naturally- if she puts more weight on my side of the scale, I push that weight right back on her side, and add some more weight for good measure.  She had offered to get the spoons- it wasn't fair that she was blaming me now!
     But something . . . something heavenly happened inside me, and I stopped myself.  I was at fault, and I openly said so instead of impulsively arguing- something I don't think I had done in maybe years, or at least hadn't done with God's spirit inside me.
     This stopped her from speaking for a minute, and then she replied that it was okay, and that she was at fault as well (again, I think because she'd offered to get the spoons, which is why I didn't get them.  Or something).
     You see what happened there?  Instead of pushing weight onto each other's scales, God let me accept the weight I was given, and my sister took back the weight in return.  This is what is known as "turning the other cheek", and in the first few months I came back to God, I did this probably for the first time in my life- and when I did so, I felt God working inside of me.
     Now, I'm not trying to put myself up as a role model here (when it come down to it, I can be a horrible human being, to be honest), but I just wanted to provide a personal example.  As Christians, we are called to be unfair- but not in the way you think of when you think of "unfairness".  We are called to be unfairly loving, unfairly gracious and forgiving.  The phrase, "What Would Jesus Do?" comes to mind, and he lived the most unfair life ever, loving those who, by society's standards, didn't "deserve it".
     That is what we must do.  That is what I must do.  That is what you must do.  And we can't do it without God's help.  We want things to be fair.  God wants unfair love to invade our lives- always.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Love Feast

While reading the book "Under the Overpass", a testimony of two Christians who walked America's streets as homeless for five months, I came to a section where they, smelly and dirty from their months on the streets, go to a potluck a church they're visiting is having. A woman welcomes them like they're been acquainted for years, and takes them to a table. In the next paragraph, I came across this line:
"They say that in Jesus's time, eating together was one of the greatest signs of friendship, honor, and acceptance."
Reading that made me think of Matthew/Levi, who gave Jesus a big feast in his house, with tax collectors as the main guests. In "Under the Overpass", the guests at the church potluck were church people and a few homeless, dirty guys; at Matthew's feast, you could say the reverse was true.
If eating together in that time truly was such a great sign of friendship, honor, and acceptance, I wonder how much courage Matthew had to throw this feast. He gave this huge party out of love for Jesus, full of other tax collectors and people Matthew probably accepted when he was a tax collector.
The best part? Jesus accepted them, ate with them! He showed his friendship and acceptance to these sinners, something the Pharisees must have been appalled at. No wonder they "complained against His disciples"; to them, tax collectors weren't people to show this great sign of friendship and honor.
But to Jesus, they were, and are, worth it 100% to Him; being with tax collectors and sinners was something worth his time. And  to Him, every sinner was, and is, welcome under His love, too, because He was there to love and heal them. He honored them, accepted them, and were always worth His time and friendship.
We're all just sinners like Matthew. But God's throwing us a huge feast, too, because he's accepted us and always has. We're asked not only to come as ourselves, but to bring as many people with us as we can.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


     When I wanted to make a YouTube Channel for analyzing and reviewing games, my main drive for doing so was to gain popularity for my passion.  I daydreamed of doing something I loved and getting "known" for it on YouTube, since I already had a strong passion for it and analyzed games (among other things) often when talking with family and friends.  I wanted to do this because it was already something I loved, and I could be known widely for doing it.  I wanted to be popular.
     I suppose popularity and acceptance  is something that all human beings desire in some small way.  We want to be accepted and liked for who we are, and if we aren't, we may change who we are for other people's sake.  My problem was that my drive to do what I liked- play and review games- was rooted in two things: worldly obsession, and myself.
     I'll admit, I used to be obsessed with games.  They were the first thing I went to after school and the main thing I'd think about during the day.  I would play almost forty-plus hours during the week, which also affected my attitude with families and friends; when playing a game, I would not want to be interrupted, so I would often snap at those who did.  I've never been a very social person in the first place, so games have been a very good outlet of escapism for me, a safe place where a creative introvert would wander to.
     I am a very observant person.  Because of my frequent playtime, I began to noticed particular things in games, which led to my want to create a blog and YouTube channel to review games, mainly indie ones.  I'm a very shy and quiet person, but I'm talented in creative mediums such as writing, art, and voice acting.  It was an ideal dream to be someone popular online, but still be my quiet, normal self who no one at school could see doing such things.
     But since I came back to Christ, I've realized the drive for popularity is a vain one.  It's a drive focused on the self and centered around one's effort and work, not around God and His work on the cross.  I wanted to be popular online because I was quiet and rather "in the background" at school, and I wanted to find fame in a place where anyone can rise up from nowhere.  But God accepts me for who I am, and wants to make me more.  He doesn't want me to change my core, but he does want me to mature and grow, and that's a good thing.
     By wanting to be popular on YouTube, I wanted to work for the wants and needs of one primary source: an audience of people.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't work for people or their needs; rather, one should not put themselves in a position where they may need to cater wholly to an audience's needs.  People are fickle.  Christians and people-pleasers would not get along very well.  (Which is funny for me to say, because I am a long-time people-pleaser, struggling at the moment to get out of that position.)  Getting "popular" on YouTube leads to people looking to me, and I am not someone who people should look to.  People should look to God, and being "popular" can make that hard.
     You know, I wanted to get my blog/YouTube channel for games up and running by March-April 2013.  But it kept getting delayed, month after month, until it came time for me to go to a Christian camp that summer.  I tried to work on the video and finish it before I had to leave for camp, but couldn't, and decided I'd finish it when I got back.
     I thank God that my date for putting the video kept getting pushed off; otherwise, I would have been in a position that would have been difficult to get out of when I got back from camp, a position I would have regretted.  I was actually ready to compromise by beliefs when reviewing games that were pushing religious buttons; in one particular game I'd played, I was ready to say, "I'm Christian, so it's not my thing, but if it's your thing, then go ahead."
     No more.  I had been caught up in the delusion of becoming popular, compromising my own beliefs because of it.  That is not who I want to be anymore.  So please, if you're considering doing something of your passion for the sake of being "popular", please reconsider.  I had a passion for games, and I still do.  But don't let that passion delusion you, and don't make that passion the centerpiece of your life like I did.
     The best thing we can do is use our passion to being glory and pleasure to God.  In my opinion, He's the one who deserves to be "popular", both for other people and in our lives.  Let's bring people closer to Him in the best ways we know how.