The moment in the church where your head is bowed and the words start writing non-erasable marks on your heart, your eyes start to fill like a waterfall, you have to swallow as you fell a lump in your throat, and the Pastor says… Let the church say Amen. At this point in church, you are normally feeling warm and fuzzy and full in your Spirit.
I hope you guys will leave a comment after reading this as it seems to be more and more of a topic in today’s society.
I find myself wondering why it is that people that Christians find it so necessary to over advise they are a Christian, but not necessarily take the word in the good book as the gospel. As people that swear by the name one moment and the next promotes racism or judging the next person; I believe we are forced to look at these being reasons why some of our churches aren’t growing. I don’t believe you can yell you are a Christian while badgering people about their past and bringing up their skeletons that are buried 6 feet under. As time passes, I find myself wondering what makes this person so worthy to judge. I don’t care the amount of time you have spent in a sanctuary clapping, praising, and dimly smiling at others. If your heart isn’t’ in the right place, the man above is going to know this. I don’t proclaim to be an expert on the bible, but last I checked he doesn’t support racism as he created all the races. Nor does he leave us believing that judging one another’s past or chastising them is one party’s duty. In fact, I believe he shares that the way you judge one another will be the way you are judged and the same for forgiveness.
Please save the expressive praise and the snide remarks if your heart isn’t in the right place. I am not speaking to people newly becoming a Christian as it is a process. I am speaking to the self-righteous parties who find it amusing to cast the first stone without knowing the background. Don’t forget that the devil lurks in the same isle of a sanctuary as the highly favored proclaimed saint. Most parties during their toughest times battle between the course they take and their spirit. I wrote a few weeks back about The Battle between Good and Evil for a reason. So many of us hold this title so high, but can’t find a way to get past turning the Bible pages quick enough to downplay someone else’s blessing. What is it in a person’s heart and thoughts that give them such superiority??? Where and when did it become ok to set the bar on folks and what they have overcome? The song, You Don’t Know My Story…. Will forever bring tears to my eyes as if we just took a moment to learn this about people, maybe, just maybe we could gain understanding versus giving a side eye. We all have overcome something, no matter how big or small, relevant to others or non-relevant. God set our journeys and our path according to a word that some of us will never understand. You can’t be living and trying to be in his image if you hate a group of people based on the color of their skin, which they had no choice in. You can be a Christian and still love those that love the same sex or gender parties. If we as Christians can sit in a church and watch the Power of God heal people from illness, handicaps, infertility…can we let him be the final judge??? I am unsure why so many people have a hard time showing the agape love that God shows us. If you set back for just a moment and think about the things you have done in your life that are in that box “Just for Jesus/God” then I am sure you can view things a little different. If you read this and tell yourself, you have nothing in that box… I am going to need you to sit and be more real with yourself. I am not saying this struggle is not always easy and I understand that as a Christian we want to bring others to God. However, there is a way to go about that and running them off first may only leave them with an impression that Christians don’t seem to conduct themselves in that light at all.
I believe as a Christian you can show other’s a love they have never known as God shows us. I am not saying it is always easy. I am saying make the choice to rise above it all and be better. You have a choice to be what so many articles share about joking about Christians being hypocrites or striving to model yourself to be better. Stop with the bold face lies, stop asking people to do what you wouldn’t or couldn’t do. Focus on your own growth and reach out to others as you feel lead by the Spirit and even then ask God to guide your tongue. I have found overtime that when I have been lead to do this… these talks go 100 times better than when I attempt to speak on my own opinion. The battle with this can be real and you may question if it is the right thing to do. You will know it is if you are being pulled to say something versus just attempting to make the wining point or be right in a conversation. Yep, I said conversation, not agreement. Have some compassion for what others struggle with and you don’t have to understand it as it is not your journey. Many journeys have more similarities than others are willing to admit. Is a drug dealer attempting to provide for his family different from the boardroom executive that is doing the same, but clearly took a different path? (Clearly some take a different path for different reasons) If you find that you are holier than thou and should be important enough to carry out the sentencing of forgiveness and judging for God, you may want to speak with him about that first and see how he leads you. After all, you are supposed to understand his word and be continuing to grow in it.
One additional note, so many of us get caught up in the hype of what others think of us. Believe me, you will reach a point of no return with this one. If they can’t get past what they know of you or who you used to be, you should re-evaluate if you are able to stay in that friendship or relationship at that point in your live. Unfortunately, many Christians struggling with their faith and living differently many mean that everyone is not on board. You have to be ok with that and use the Spirit of discernment to guide you through. Stop taking words to live by just because it is a Christian putting them out there. You can still be polite, but you don’t have to subject yourself to people that can’t understand the choice you have made to be a Christian and what your past brings with that. Learn to differentiate between those that come to you in sheep’s clothing shooting their opinion of your story versus being willing to focus on their own.
I by no means wrote this to make fun of the Christian faith. I have by far not been the perfect Christian in any way, shape, nor means. However, I am self-aware versus self-righteous, more understanding than most versus attempting to condemn, and know that God knows my heart. Let’s pull together and show people that amazing feeling you had the first time you walked into a church that everyone greeted you and smiled and the neighbor next to you spoke to you as the Pastor directed or didn’t because they were just glad to see another party in the church. You never know who escaped suicide to get there, the husband/wife that has beat them the night before, the drug addict asking for God’s guidance, the teenager considering hurting someone else, the person that has the weight of the world on their shoulders and are looking for that word on how to carry on. Let’s make it about more than a name and a stigma, Let’s Make it Real!!!!
If you enjoyed reading this blog, please check out The Power of Strongholds, Learning to Forgive, The Battle between Good and Evil.