I officiate lots of weddings. In my time as an ordained minister we're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of close to 45. I have already officiated 1 in 2019 and this Summer and Fall will yield another 7 by my best count. Part of my role in addition to the actual officiating of the ceremony is to meet with couples to help them better understand what they're getting into with marriage. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a marriage counselor but I've adopted the same philosophy in meeting with couples as I have with my writing, blogging, video, devotionals, etc. It's the quote attributed to C.S. Lewis:
"Think of me as a fellow patient in the same hospital who, having been admitted a little earlier could give some advice.”
I tell couples, I don't really know what I'm doing but I've been in the game for a while so maybe I could offer a little advice. So we walk through some marriage material and talk through the ins and outs of what a successful marriage looks like. The final responsibility that I have after the ceremony is over is to ensure that the couple's marriage license is properly filled out and mailed in to the correct people so that last names can be changed, social security stuff is taken care of, etc.
I keep a copy for my records and I send a copy away for the official record and as a result, I have a folder in my bottom desk drawer stuffed full of marriage licenses. Just a few weeks ago I officiate the wedding for a great couple and like always I filled out the paperwork, mailed away the correct forms and dropped my copy onto my desk to be filed away with the others. That copy laid on my desk for a few days and during that time I noticed something that appears on the top of most every marriage license I have in my folder. It's simply the words, "Be It Known".
I stared at that phrase for several days as that marriage license lived on my desk waiting to be filed. As I lived with that phrase I was challenged by what it truly means. "Be It Known" means:
I was reminded of the importance of that phrase in my relationship with Jesus. Do those whom I've never spoken to about Jesus already know that I follow Him because of the way I live my life? Do they know that I live for Jesus based on the way I treat them as they check me out of the grocery store, or take my order at the restaurant? For those whom I have already spoken to about Jesus: do my actions confirm my words? Do I say one thing and do another?
We often speak about making a public profession of faith in Jesus, what if that public profession wasn't a one time thing? What if our public profession of faith was supposed to happen on the daily? Do I live out my faith with a "Be It Known" mentality? Am I shouting from the rooftops that I follow Jesus? Is how I conduct myself on a daily basis reflective of the importance I say my relationship with Jesus has in my life? Is it evident to the people I come into contact with each day that I am choosing to pattern myself after the person and teachings of Jesus Christ?
These are the questions I'm asking myself today. Join me. Be encouraged and keep moving forward. -Andy