I remember the first time I read her blog and saw the word. She was well known, well respected…a leader in Christian circles. Believers looked up to her. Learned from her. Emulated her.
And there on the screen before my face was a word that shocked me. I suppose we could sit and debate whether or not God views any word as “bad” aside from the command to not take His own Name in vain. But the truth of it is, our culture has deemed some words inappropriate and she’d used one…right there in print.
I wanted to presume it was a mistake, but it’s hard to type out that kind of word and publish it by mistake. And then weeks later, I sat before her blog again, with fresh resolve that perhaps I needed to try one more time. I read through the new post, nodding and agreeing and enjoying…and then power punching the end of the post…another word.
Saddened, I declared I just wouldn’t go to her blog anymore. If it offended me, I just wouldn’t read it. No one said I had to, after all.
I bumped into her online again this week – this time on social media, and before I could scroll past the post, I saw a word again. This time in response to someone, and below her one word post, a string of readers asking why she used that kind of language.
I scrolled too, eager to see her answer. My heart sank when I found her response, which defended her freedom to use such words. It ate so deeply at my heart that when our Bible study group gathered this week and studied Paul’s words about being rooted and growing in Christ, I asked their thoughts on the situation.
One of the ladies said something that struck me so profoundly. She said she was once taught that our freedom in Christ makes us free to become more like Him.
My heart remains convicted and compelled as I ponder her words. I’m certainly not perfect, and I’ve made my share of mistakes and missteps that others have seen. I know I have disappointed and confused hearts too, and it makes me sad.
But I love the truth that I’m free to grow. Free to have new opportunities each day to put my missteps, mistakes, and flat out sin behind me and use the moments ahead to offer glimpses of Christ to those around me. I’m free to become more like Him. I’m free to live in such a way that those around me will want to know more of Him. I’m free to become more like Him today than I was yesterday.
That’s exciting freedom to me. Not a freedom that leaves me wondering if I’m getting too close to the edge of sin, but a freedom that leaves me pressing on toward the goal of Heaven. Closer to Jesus.
Bekah Shaffer is a wife, writer, blogger, and lover of life and creativity. God has redeemed and restored the life that felt broken and useless, and she loves to share pieces of her story so others can find hope in what God has done. She’s married to Ryan, her answer to many years of prayers, and she loves to scrapbook, make memories, cook, write, and point others toward the Lord!
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