I drove myself to Chick-fil-A this morning. A free breakfast sandwich, Diet Coke and a quiet booth were calling my name. I took my Bible and the book I'm going through and carved out some time to spend with the Lord. Chick-fil-A might seem like a strange place to do so, but hey, there's free refills so what's a girl to do?
Why I was surprised by the busyness of the restaurant I'm not sure but I ended up at an available spot next to a table full of moms and their young children. Of course this didn't bother me as just a few years ago that was me, looking for reprieve at any place with an indoor playground and a place to sit. In fact, I felt a pang in my heart that my kids have outgrown the delight of pulling off their socks (even when I would tell them not to) and running into the playroom.
What bothered me about this table was not the volume or continuous conversation going on around me but the subject matters of those conversations. I learned quickly that these ladies knew each other from church. Ahh, the common bond we can share as mother's with a heart to raise our children for Christ. But that's not what they were talking about.
I learned they went to church together by their ranting about all the women at church they did not like, why they did not like them, how their facebook posts were annoying or too frequent, how one should just delete them as a friend and then pretend they knew nothing about it. Along with the size and beauty of their homes, the amount of exercise each one participated in daily and the schools they would or would not send their kids to.
My initial reaction was anger and disgust. How dare they claim to be church going Christians then proceed to tear apart the very people that Christ would no doubt have been drawn to minister to. What if I were someone who had left the church long ago due to unfair judgement or hypocrisy? Their words would only add fuel to my fire. What if I were a lonely single mother who could use Godly women in my life but after hearing their insistance on private school, large homes and expensive cars knew I would never fit in? What if?
Then as with a small pin prick the Holy Spirit convicted me of my own hypocrisy. Have I not done the same? Have I not covered what is truly idle gossip in the form of "venting" or worse yet "prayer requests"? I have indeed sat at that very restaurant and ranted to my close friends about people or things I was upset about without thinking for a moment the impact those words could have on those around me.
However, the absolute beauty of a relationship with Christ is that in that same small way he reminded me that I can't change them but I can change myself. The words I use, the opinions I share, the way I treat or speak about His children is totally up to me. Thank you Jesus for your grace!
So sometimes it takes a free chicken biscuit and a Diet Coke for the Lord to get our attention.
Conviction, to me, is the Holy Sprit's way of telling us he loves us and knows we can do better!
Let's do better ladies!