I’m starting a new category on my blog called Sermons I’d Love to Preach. I figure that I’m always getting ideas for messages, but I never write them down. If I blog a bit about them, when I am asked to preach, I can always come back to my blog to see what I thought about the subject then. and what I think about the subject now. I call that being a good steward.
A good friend of mine and I were talking a few weeks ago about the trip to Vegas that he took with his wife. AS we talked, he told me that his favorite part of that entire experience was getting a chance to just talk with various guys about stuff that they don’t talk about often. it is no surprise that men are secretive. We struggle with sin and the shame that accompanies it more often than we would like to let on, which is why those things tend to hold us back as long as we allow them to. He talked about this whole idea of conceal and carry. Now, I’m no gun owner….yet (my daughter is about to be 13, so I have my application ready), so I don’t know the ins and outs of gun legislation. But just from the name, I know that when licensed, a gun owner can carry their weapon in a concealed manner. Some say it is for safety. Some think it makes them tough. Others just are fulfilling their Wyatt Earp fantasies from childhood. Whatever the reason, concealed carried weapons are legal, and within the right of every citizen.
Where the Kingdom of Heaven is concerned, concealing and carrying is almost like a self- imposed death sentence. The very things that we hold inside can keep us from truly living life on the terms provided by God. Sure, we have the right to carry our own burdens. but we can not make the excuse that we are protecting ourselves. In fact, what we are doing is neglecting to allow people that God has put in our lives to help us, to do their jobs. There is no shame in having sin in your life and telling someone. There is no shame is someone helping us to carry a burden that has been killing us for a long time. There is no shame in being weak and vulnerable before trusted friends. In this way, God heals us. When we are open about our faults and struggles, our needs and desperate pleas, God can use people to bless us in ways that can’t get to us when we choose to conceal and carry our own burdens.
In 1 Peter 5:7, Peter writes,
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you…”
Casting here is in a present tense. That means that while we might admit out sin at salvation, we should never stop talking to God about those things that ail us. Of course, He knows, but he also knows that the things that ail us most, are the things that we sometimes don’t want to discuss. Yet, when we trust Him, and the people that He has placed around us, we are able to experience His love and faithfulness in a whole new way. When we open ourselves up to the possibility that God really DOES love and care for us, our future and present become open to the fullness of God.
I’m not the best at open carry. I tend to conceal some things deeper than others. I concealed my porn addiction for years before opening up to a few trusted people about it. The shame that accompanies those hidden things is overwhelming and unnecessary. God accepts us. He already has chosen us. He already loves us. There is nothing more to be gained from God. He has given us all things to enjoy. We have to trust Him and open up. He cares and has placed people around us who care.
While concealing and carrying might be our legal right, it is not in our best interest. I dare you to find trusted people to be honest and open with. Who knows, you just might get set free!
One last thing. While self-defense might be a human right, a Christian knows that God is our true defense. We have to trust Him with our hearts and our hurts.