Real religion.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Anyone who sets himself up as 'religious' by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world."
- James 1:27

This is the message the Lord has been speaking to me and Shawn over the last few days and weeks. If this is a litmus test for how we're doing, I can't say we've passed. How many homeless or loveless people have we invited into our home? None. Are we guarding against corruption from the world and the temptations of security, materialism, and comfort? Not very well.

The blessings we have received in the last few months here in Franklin have been undeserved and wonderful. But they have come with a price: comfort. Maybe when you read that, you think, "That seems like a reward, not a cost." But to Shawn and I (and hopefully those walking closely with Jesus), comfort scares us. Life is fleeting, and we believe God wants us to spend our moments here on earth doing things that matter, not things that make us feel good.

As children of God, we are called to minister the Gospel to one another. I don't think we are all called to sell everything we have and live among the poor. Maybe some are called to excel in the business world, make tons of money, and live on a small percentage to give the rest away. Some may be asked to use the resources they have to love on foster kids in their home and show them Jesus. People have very different gifts and different callings. In some ways, if we are following Jesus, it doesn't matter what our vocation is because our love for Jesus will pour out of us like water and saturate everyone we come into contact with. But what I don't see in Scripture, however, is where God calls us to comfort. And security. And doing everything in our power to profit ourselves.

All that to say, Shawn and I are feeling a stirring and a restlessness from the Lord that we simply cannot ignore. Honestly, we don't know the whens and whys of it, but we know that He is moving us in some way. And we feel like it's going to be big.

May our eyes be open, our ears be attentive, and our clenched fists willingly let go of everything that hinders us from fully serving Jesus.


  1. Thanks for this great reminder, Whitney... Just this morning in chapel (for Urban Emphasis week), one of the men sharing said, "Safety and comfort are not Christian virtues." I needed to hear that. And this. It makes for a difficult and sometimes confusing struggle, for we should be *content* wherever God places us, but not pursuing comfort. More often, it is in our discomfort that we grope for and learn to lean more heavily on the Lord. Agh, this is a concept I need to grow more into... Anyway, thanks again! Here's to uncomfortable contentedness!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am in a similar place and asking what this looks like for me and my family. Sometimes I feel like I'm relaxing, laying in an inner tub on a lazy river. It may not feel like I'm moving away from God's heart but the slow drift of calm waters can be more dangerous than strong waves.

    Your journey is so encouraging. Please continue to write!

  3. I was feeling discouraged about blogging, and I decided to find a post of yours from a few years ago, around this time of year, to see what your writing topics and feel was when you were a little closer to the time of life I feel I'm in. Whitney, you have no idea how encouraging reading a few of your posts from 2009-2010 has been for me to just do it. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing what God's been doing in your life for so long. This post is so good. So real. So true. I love that I read this right after reading about you becoming a pastors wife. Our God is so much bigger than we can imagine, and so faithful! I'm honored that God brought you into my life to be such an encouragement to me online. Thank you!

    1. Such sweet, sweet encouragement. Thank you, Tori!


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