Have you noticed people shrinking back when you tell them you’re a Christian? These days, it seems the term (and the people) are viewed as hypocritical and judgmental, and that’s definitely the opposite of what Jesus Christ Himself said we should be. Today’s article for the Blogging Through the Alphabet meme, and the third in my ABCs of Faith series. I apologize for it not going up on time! Join me and my cohosts, Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool and Kirsten at DoodleMom’s Homeschooling Life, by linking your post below and by grabbing this button!
Is it any wonder that the world shrinks away from us? We are so divided amongst ourselves with our pet theologies that it’s prevented us from even fellowshipping one with another. I speak in tongues and you don’t? Well, then we can’t have a decent conversation in the park. (Really, folks?) Baptism of infants versus age of accountability? Let’s argue about that, Christians, shall we! It’s all so petty and I’m sure that the world culture notices.
But that’s not all. We’ve taken to condemning not only the sins of the world, but the people who commit them. Christians seem to have forgotten that it’s amidst those very people that Jesus chose to spend His time. It’s where He did the most ministry, and He didn’t do it by throwing rocks at them. He did absolutely encourage them to turn from their sin, but He did it in love. He didn’t just use that as a catch phrase or as a passive-aggressive way to allow an insult. He came along beside them and showed them a better way. He helped them out from underneath the chains that bound them instead of pointing out the chains and condemning their souls for them. Do you understand the difference?
It was the best and yet one of the hardest days of my life when the Lord showed me what it really means to see people through the eyes of Jesus. I was reading this book when the Lord spoke to me. I was reading about forgiveness, and of course “I know” that I’ve already forgiven the people in my life who’ve harmed me. Haven’t I? God spoke to my heart and made me realize that I still harbored resentment, and that in itself meant that I hadn’t fully forgiven. But my resentment was due to thinking I was owed something – and I was!
Why was it that these people didn’t give me what they owed? What made them think it was okay to treat me like that? There is no excuse, but from their point of view, what caused them to think that their actions were the best course? Most people don’t do things to intentionally hurt others; and when they do, there are reasons for that, too. Those reasons, whatever they are – those are the chains that bind.
That’s how Jesus sees each one of us, with chains that hold us back and make us believe lies from the enemy which were never true but have shaped how we see the world. And that is why we do the things we do, because of what we believe in our hearts and minds. Jesus sees what situations brought about those people believing wrong things, which caused them to take the actions that hurt me.
Jesus knows why. He can see it on every single one of us.
And it saddens Him to the point of grief.
So instead of simply recognizing evil for evil (which should absolutely be part of our ministry), let’s do as Jesus would do. Let’s stop and think what people might have been through to cause them to act the way they do. Christians – let’s grieve for the lies they believe, and war against powers and principalities and the rulers of the earth for the souls of the children of God.
The Bible says that they (the world) will know us (the followers of Christ – Christians) by our love. Is that what they’re seeing? Is that how you’re living your life? Jesus knows what we have all been through, and He aches to save each one of us from our past and from the accuser. We are to be the hands and feet of God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Right?? So let’s do that, Christians. Let’s allow peoples’ wrong behaviors to cause us to grieve in their behalf and give us a heart of love for leading them to His Throne of Grace. Intentionally.
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