I just began the Beth Moore bible study, Daniel. Most of us probably remember hearing the story of Daniel when we were kids. How Daniel was cast into a den of lions, and the lions left him alone. What we probably don't remember (or ever knew) was what kind of man Daniel was. Well, I have only begun to scratch the surface of Daniel's story, but it has already cut deep through my heart.
I never, in a million years, would have guessed that I would marry a pastor. I am sure most people that knew me would not have guessed that either. Well, along came Brad and the rest is history. With Brad being in the ministry, I quickly realized that I couldn't be myself with a lot of the people we hung around with. I started referring to myself during those times as "Church Michele". Sadly enough, that name has stuck around, and I have still found myself using it. For instance, even right now, I have friends from our current church that I can be myself with and I have friends that I have to be "Church Michele" with. Up until tonight, I never saw anything wrong with that.
During my bible study tonight Beth Moore was talking about integrity and the decisions we make living in our world today. She said, "The lifeblood of integrity is becoming the same person no matter where we are - no matter who's around." Hm. Think she might have been talking to me? She went on to say that integrity depends on consistency and it calls you not only to live inside out, but it keeps the outside from coming in. In the world today, I want to do all I can to keep the world out. Every where we look morality is dissolving around us. We have to be consistent with our morals and keep our eyes on Jesus, or the world is going to swallow us whole.
I am going to strive to be "Church Michele" all the time. That isn't a bad thing. That is an awesome thing. I feel so ashamed that for so long, I used that term so negatively. I want every ounce of my being to be "Church Michele". I want to be culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant. I want to live a life of integrity.
I want to be a Daniel.