Let’s talk about culture and opinions.
We are a people who cannot help forming opinions about EVERYTHING. We have our favorite news source. We all have different opinions of what a classic Thanksgiving meal consists of and how everything should be prepared. We have each formed an opinion on wearing white after Labor Day. We have made decisions about the BEST way to load the dishwasher (which surprisingly enough is usually different than the opinion of others in our households). There are so many things in our world today that we have formed opinions on. Our opinions are shaped by many different components including culture, beliefs, and the voices of others speaking (sometimes shouting) in our ears. We even form opinions about others. We have expectations, assumptions, and experiences that shape in our minds how a person should be. We have opinions on teachers, principals, ministers, grandparents, leaders, doctors, and even Christians.
Opinions were DEFINITELY formed about the women in Luke 8 who followed Jesus. No doubt assumptions and judgments abounded! During the time of Christ, women were not thought of having much value. They were not counted as very significant. Women only traveled with their family for festivals or to visit other family. For women to leave behind family and their responsibility in the household to travel with Jesus would have been considered deviant. Judgments definitely would have been made by those that knew them, and labels would have been slapped onto these women quickly. The women who left their lives behind to travel with Jesus and play a part in His ministry would have not only been labeled deviant, but other labels would include scandalous, disgraceful, shameful, and shocking. Many would also assume that the women who followed Jesus were participating in inappropriate sexual conduct. When the women of Luke 8 said yes to traveling with Jesus, they also said yes to damaging their reputations.
Fortunately, life has changed for women over the years. However, one thing that has not changed are the judgments, opinions, and misconceptions placed on us by others.
When we strive to join Christ on His journey we also commit to a rebellious life. We will find ourselves rebelling against the ways of the world, and we will find that other people form opinions, judgments, and misconceptions about us. Following Jesus means that we live a lifestyle where we color outside the lines. Our picture will look different than the picture the world paints.
As we journey with Jesus…
We offer grace and not judgment
We speak words of love and encouragement.
We carefully monitor what our eyes see and what our ears hear.
We let Christ’s voice lead us over all other voices.
We offer up praise and joy each day despite obstacles and challenges
We seek out moments of rest, and we do not seek satisfaction in busyness.
We handle all situations with integrity.
We seek out ways to serve others instead of trying to get ahead of
We have an ultimate unshakable hope
You are a woman of God. You are counter-cultural. You are rebellious!
So precious one, take each and every colorful crayon God has given you, and color all over this world in the name of Jesus!