Welcome to a guest post by my friend, Parry Kietzman. Parry is a doctoral student in Entomology at UC Riverside. She specializes in honeybees, but is also an avid horsewoman. She is a graduate of Sewickley Academy and Wheaton College. She is a beautiful young woman, inside and out. It has been my pleasure to know Parry for about a dozen years.
I never talk about my faith.
I realized something. I never really talk about my faith. If you look at the things I post to Facebook, you might not even realize I’m a Christian at all. Sure, I don’t post things that are lewd or filled with swear words–I probably seem really wholesome–but that’s not the same as being a Christian.
Talk to me for two minutes and you’ll very likely find out how much I enjoy horseback riding or that my job is to conduct research on honey bees. Let me keep going and you’ll learn far more than you were interested in hearing about which riding disciplines I pursue and why, which of the horses I ride is my favorite, and how my own baby horse is progressing in his training. I love talking about my research and will do my best to answer any question you may have about bees, breaking things down to match my perception of your interest level in the subject. I know that I’m supposed to put my faith before all these things, so why do I so seldom talk about my God?
I think I’m just not in the habit of it.
I think I’ll be perceived as pushing my beliefs onto other people.
I think people will feel threatened by what I have to say.
But I still believe. I believe in God the Father. I believe in His only son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I believe that we are all sinners, and that the cost of sin is death. I believe the free gift of God through the death of His son Jesus is our eternal life. I believe.
The Bible doesn’t exist to serve you, it exists to instruct you on serving God to the fullest of your abilities. God is a God of love, but if we love Him back we should show it. Sometimes this means doing things you may not be comfortable with, but guess what? We are a fallen race. We are filled with wrong ideas from sunup to sundown, but we’re supposed to trust in God with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Just because something is comfortable doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.
You tell me so often that faith is an emotional experience for you, that you base your actions on what you feel in a given moment. Will you stop serving on days when you don’t feel anything? I wish that I could say I walk with God every day, but I don’t. I get distracted far too easily by the desires of my own heart. It’s too easy for me to set God aside for things that seem more immediate. More real. I don’t always feel His presence. I don’t always ask to feel it.
I was reading in I Corinthians and I Thessalonians this morning, and everything I read was such a clear reminder that we’re supposed to be doing all things for Christ. “We instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in The Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of The Lord Jesus.” (I Thes 4:1-2). “‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is constructive.” (I Cor 10:23).
I want to serve better. Do you?
-by Parry Kietzman