difficult to find the right words

I haven’t forgotten about my promise to write about how a Christian woman should strive to live her life.

I’ve been pondering the question, rolling it around in my mind, talking about it with various people now and then, bringing it to the front burner, pushing it to the back burner — and I’m realizing that it’s a big topic.

As I’ve thought about what I want to say, how I want to say it, and how to make sure I say it in such a way that the words that I write are understood as I intend them to be understood, I’ve realized that initial groundwork has to be laid down first.  I say that with an inward chuckle; many times when I’ve participated in Bible studies or read books on Biblical topics, I’ve always mentally yawned through the opening section, where the foundations of faith were laid out again.  I already knew that stuff, right?  Why bother hashing out God’s plan of salvation one more time?  Let’s get on to the good stuff!

However, as an older (and hopefully wiser) Christian, I’ve realized that laying the correct foundation is absolutely essential.  Because, if the foundation is wrong, then there’s no way one can come to a correct conclusion about whatever Biblical topic one is studying.

Over the years, I’ve had experiences with people, both inside and outside of my church body, who hold to similar beliefs about Jesus and Christianity as I do, but not exactly the same.  I would still refer to most of these people as Christians, but as discussions went on about various teachings of the Bible and aspects of Christianity, it was obvious that our different beliefs had a noticeable effect on how we lived our lives.

In some ways, it’s like worship.  (It is a tribute to my husband that I am even making this analogy at all.  He will laugh when he reads this, but he will agree.)  Well, actually, it’s a LOT like worship.  There are a lot of Christian denominations out there: Baptist, Reformed, Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Pentecostal — all of these would fall under the general umbrella of Christianity.  Yet if you go to Sunday worship at these various denominations, you will see very different worship services.  Why is that, you ask?  It’s simple: Each denomination designs their worship in a way that reflects their beliefs.  There’s a reason why each of these denominations worship the way they do.  Furthermore, that’s why it’s difficult to borrow another denomination’s worship style and use it effectively in your own church without subtlely changing your doctrine along with it.  (Yes, I’m talking to you, Church and Changers!)

Anyway, I digress a bit.  But my point remains: What you believe affects everything about your Christian life.  And that’s what I’m struggling with.  Don’t get me wrong; I know what I believe.  But how do I effectively and precisely communicate my beliefs in my own words to readers?

I suppose this is the same daunting task that pastors face every week as they prepare to step into the pulpit and preach a sermon.

I’ll keep working on it.  The post, perhaps posts, will come.  But for a perfectionist like me, it’s not an easy task.

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2 thoughts on “difficult to find the right words

  1. Enjoying your blog, thanks Emily. I think you’ve taken on a big topic here, so have fun with it and I’ll enjoy reading your posts about it over the next few years 🙂

    Each denomination designs their worship in a way that reflects their beliefs.

    I agree with you on this, but I also think that personality is a huge driver, and I think how you were raised affects this big time as well. If you’re a more contemplative sort, and prefer quiet, then that will drive you to a church that reflects that. If you’re louder, want to move a lot and participate in the sermons, then that’s what you’ll be drawn to.

    What you believe affects everything about your Christian life.

    No offence, but isn’t this one of those “Well, duh!” statements? Once you’re in the place in which you feel comfortable, I think Christians find support for their position and beliefs with bible verses. We all do it. But here’s the thing: do we really believe and make Christ our life, or do we have a set of things we believe (i.e. rules) and follow them? As a friend of mine said, we have exactly as much God as we want.

  2. You know, I think this is a normal struggle for any Christian- for any religious person. Sometimes I find myself trying too hard to be an outstanding Christian, trying to hard to get it perfect; but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about the relationship you establish with the Creator. It’s about your life trying to figure out how to glorify Him. Being a strong, Christian woman (or man) is hard work! And it’s meant to be that way. When it gets easy, you know something has gone wrong. God wants you to work for His affections, in a way. He wants you to strive after Him, to love Him more than anything. And He knows this is hard- if it was easy it wouldn’t be Christianity!

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