God, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Sin

When the Green Card Comes Down…

No, this isn’t a post about immigration reform or citizenship regulations. But much like that green card, the green card that I speak of definitely identifies you as a member of a larger body of people. As a member of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, we have green parking passes that hang on our rearview mirror. As we transition to our brand new edifice, we are renting event and parking space from a large Chicagoland venue. So the green placards were designed mostly to distinguish New Life members to the attendants in the shared parking lots. However, they have grown to mean so much more to us. They now serve to identify and unify us amongst one another. Whenever I am driving in Chicago, it is guaranteed that I will see another green card passing by. Of course, I usually don’t know the person but we honk and smile simply because we are related. Where ever I am—the gas station, beauty salon, visiting a friend’s house, etc.—someone will see the green card and excitedly run over to me saying, “Hey New Life!”  No matter where I am or who I am with, I am marked as a member of New Life.

Several weeks back I found myself taking my green card down as I traveled to my destination. As quickly as I snatched the card down, I was convicted. I had to ask myself, “Why are you taking this down? If you don’t want the people who may be where you are going to know who you are associated with, surely this can’t be a good move.” Now I think it’s important to add that where I was going and what I was planning to do was not technically a sin. However, my presence at that place could have easily been misinterpreted or misconstrued. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV) Anything that even looks sinful should not be pursued.

You may not have a green card that marks you as member of your church, but once you said yes to Jesus, you were marked as a member of the body of Christ. When you accepted Him into your heart, you were given a spiritual red card (covered in the blood) that identifies you as member of the Kingdom. Thus, it is important that your actions say that you have indeed been kissed by the Son! Examining the checklist below will ensure that you are not in situations where you are tempted to hide your card:

  • Does this involve me sinning against God’s Word? Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14 NLT)  Above anything else, if you will be involved in sinful activity, you should not be doing it! If you are engaging in any sinful act, flee!  
  • Why am I doing this? This is an important question to ask yourself because it can be easy to proceed simply because you are not committing a sin. 1 Corinthians 6: 12 warns us of this: “Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.” (MSG) Another version reads, “Everything is permissible… but not everything is beneficial.” (NIV) If your actions are detrimental to your spirit, you should not be participating.
  • Are my actions pleasing to God? Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8 NIV) If gratification of your flesh is the outcome of your actions, you will not be pleasing God!
  • WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Yes, it’s a trite and cliché phrase, but it’s a tried and true litmus test. As we strive to become more like Jesus, we should be imitating Him in every area of our life. As a matter of fact, since nothing is new under the sun, we can ask ourselves what DID Jesus do?  Using His life as an example ensures that we are making the best decisions.

Making those decisions that are in the best interest of your spirit, life and destiny can sometimes be hard. However, if you ask yourself the four questions listed above, I guarantee that you will not be doing anything contrary to the Word and will of God. You won’t have to be like me and pull your card down on the way to your destination. You will be living a life that lines up with being a proud, card carrying member of the body of Christ!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for my sins. Please forgive me for all of the times that I acted contrary to Your Word. Please forgive me for the times that I hid my red card because I wanted to gratify my fleshy desires or simply because I was ashamed of who I am in You. God, help me to live a life that is pleasing in Your sight. Help me to show the world who You are through my daily actions and speech. I thank You for Your transformative power! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, I EMPOWER you to leave your card in the window of your life! Don’t take it down just because you want to do something that is displeasing to God. Rather, leave it up as a reminder that the blood is cleansing you from all unrighteousness.  Even when you mess up, your red card will remind that you STILL belong to the body of Christ!

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible more than anything. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

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16 thoughts on “When the Green Card Comes Down…”

  1. Ouch! You stepped all over my toes. =) Just yesterday, I considered doing something that would not be pleasing to God. I struggled with the decision all night, even lost a little sleep. But right now, I know that it is not a wise choice and I am not going to take down my green card, not even for temporary satisfaction.

    Thank you for sharing…I really needed this one!

  2. Kristen,
    I SO, SO, SO needed to hear a good word today. Last night I remembered one of the EM posts that said when you say YES to God the warfare increases a million times. Uuugghh!! Had a really bad day yesterday and woke up feeling just miserable to tell the truth…..but nothing like a good Word to call peace back into my heart. THANK YOU JESUS!! THANK YOU JESUS!! THANK YOU JESUS!! I’ll praise Him no matter how I feel!! God bless you always my Sister!!!!

  3. Thanks dear. This was right on time. I called the City of Chicago to pay my monthly amount towards some past parking tickets. I was very ecstatic that I’m at 250 now not 1200 anymore. Well here comes the devil because the rep informed that I acquired two 150 dollar tickets on dates that I wasn’t in chicago and didnt have my car it was supposed to be in the garage. I was going to go bananas and raise my voice and who knows. I calmy made a phone call and respectfully spoke with that person and remained humble. Sooooo thank you very much and thank God he has my back.

  4. Krissy this is such a relevant word. While I was “partying” in DC and just hanging with some random guys joking the guys asked us if we went to church. He then went on to question…what church? who is the Pastor? …notably I stumbled because I have not “joined” a body of Christ here (too many excuses to start here). Although we were just kickin it, I wondered if my behavior or conversation indicated that I was not familiar with the savior. I was immediately convicted because I never want to try so hard to fit in that its not evident that I know Jesus. Thank you for my red card Jesus! I will proudly put it on display.

  5. This message is great! I really have had to self check myself because if the places I go are not good enough to display God than they are not good enough for me. This word is well received lady!

  6. So eloquently written. I got tickled when you wrote “New Life” because that is the name of your namesake’s new school, SMH.

    Just tonight I was in a situation where I had to “make sure I didn’t appear sinful.” As Christians we have to be held to a standard, this post definitely gave me an awesome checklist to use daily.

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