I'm a Christian.
And I'm a liar.
Serious lies. Major. Compulsive.
I say I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind, but I check Facebook each morning before checking into the Word of God to get a fix of what's really most important in my heart.
I say my kids are the most important thing on this earth to me, but I shoo them off of me so I can concentrate on writing an email.
I say I'm for human rights but I shop at big-box stores that support child labor and don't think hard about buying cheap coffee and cheap clothing that exploits the workers involved in the manufacturing process.
I say I write as ministry, to communicate what the Lord puts on my heart, but I have paid advertising on my blog so I can get a little something for my effort.
I say I'm part of the church body, but shy away from serving in ways that aren't "my gift."
I say I'm open-minded and respect all people, but I avoid lengthy discussions with the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons that come to my door. I smile and nod in the name of faith instead of listening and sharing and praying. I speak out against what I don't believe in rather than striving to understand all sides in mutual respect and humanity.
I say I believe in the power of prayer but drive my sick kid to the doctor and fill a prescription before I think to utter a word.
I am increasingly aware of the difference between faith in word and deed. I'm a writer. It's easy for me to wax poetic about the beautiful redemption of Christ but walk through life as though I don't believe it at all.
It's easier to use grace as a bandage to cover over the evil that so easily takes root in my heart, rather than taking a scalpel to it. Scalpels are more painful than bandages, but bandages don't heal the root of infection.
So what can be done?
I can use the scalpel to cut away one lie at a time. I can bring my choices before the Lord and cut out hypocrisy. I can remove advertising from my blog for things that are financially motivated rather than mission-ally motivated. I can pick up my Bible before my laptop, even when I don't feel like it. I can go with less excess to make more humane spending choices. I can listen when I disagree, breathe when I'd rather yell, pray when I'd rather control. It's one small, hard choice after another. It's one uncomfortable step at a time and we don't take the steps to be right but to be holy, to give the world a glimpse at the way He does it. Jesus does not divide; He unites. He does not injure; He heals.