This past weekend, I got the chance to be a part of a retreat for a bunch of pastor's kids (PKs). It was a lot of fun because I got to take part in the sermons like a student, but I also got to pray over students as a leader. It was really cool to see this whole group of teenagers who have been a part of the church their entire lives worship God. It really made my heart soar.
Then, I heard some of them talk.
I heard a few of the students talk about getting drunk and how cool it was. I overheard them say that they "didn't care." It made me wonder if they "didn't care," does that mean they don't care about being a good role model? Because I saw plenty of kids younger than them who looked up to them.
So, to the kid I overheard talking about how often you get drunk, that's not cool, man. It doesn't make you cool to party like that. And it especially doesn't make you cool to talk about all of that in front of the ten-year-old boy that I know you knew was watching your example. There are enough bad influences in this world without him needing that from you, too.
Just keep that in mind.
And, by the way, this same kid who bragged to his friends about getting drunk was one of the kids I saw in both services worshiping the Lord without surrender. And I only have one thing to say to that:
Check your heart.
Just because you grew up in church doesn't mean you're saved. Just because your parent is a pastor does not mean that you get a free pass into Heaven. Just because you've memorized Scripture in clubs like Royal Rangers and MPact girls does not mean that you are living the Word.
Please, check your heart.
James tells us in James 2:14, 17:
"What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?... So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless."
If you're sitting here saying that you believe and that God is your Savior, but you're also sitting a few feet away an hour later telling someone about how cool it is that you can get drunk so often, I'm sorry but your faith isn't enough. That is definitely not what James would classify as a "good deed."
And while we do need to check our hearts about who is watching us and what we talk about around others like that, it is more than that.
We need to check our hearts about what we are watching, listening to and reading. What we put into our minds is what is going to come out, so we need to make sure it doesn't compromise us morally. We have to check our hearts because I promise you, if you feel even an ounce of doubt in your heart about something, you most likely shouldn't be doing it.
We also need to check our hearts with how we interact with others. I, myself, am guilty of losing my temper with people and snapping. I lose my patience and get an attitude. I need to check my heart when I am put in situations like that. We must become aware of what our "sin triggers" are and where we can guard our hearts against things that will set us off like that.
God wants us to be close to His heart, not following our own.
Our hearts will lead us astray at times because our feelings get stuck in the middle. Rather than following just our feelings, we need to follow where God is taking us. When we press in and want to see His heart, not just for our lives but also for those around us, He will open our eyes to things much bigger than ourselves.