A few weeks ago I was with a new group of women. We were all talking, sharing and encouraging each other along this difficult journey called, life. Suddenly the conversation began to take a very sour turn. Before I knew it tissues and tears had made a grand appearance and there was a very somber tone in what started out as an uppity group.
I was a little confused at this sudden twist in our conversation. The truth was though, several of the women were upset about how Christians are being viewed in this world. They expressed their frustrations with friends, neighbors and family members that didn’t believe in the same God who they loved so much. Story after story was told about how mistreated as a Christian they were in their circle of social influence.
My heart started feeling sick. And I knew I had to say something. Being new to this group, I really didn’t want to step on any one’s toes the first day we were together but finally, the need to speak up overtook this girl. So I politely began to share with these women how ridiculous I found this conversation.
Yes, it wasn’t received well at first.
But I went further on to say that we (meaning Christians: followers of Christ) have no one to blame for the world’s view of our culture but ourselves. For so many years we (Christians) have been the ones to point the finger of judgement, shame, guilt and condemnation. Why would we expect other’s to view us any different that they do?
We sit in prayer circles and share gossip, hate and feel this great need to condemn others for their sins. Church leaders roam through the streets feeling the need to enforce the laws of God, like He needs us to be His police officers or something. Bloggers write ridiculous posts about the right to judge and say things like it’s our God-given responsibility.
How wrong we have been.
What I shared with my new friends that day is we have no one but ourselves to blame for the great turn-off to what it looks like to be a follower of Christ.
But I am convinced more than ever there is a fresh new wave flowing through the land of the United States. People are choosing to speak out on this topic, to raise the Christian flag and call it truce on behalf of the body of Christ. To simply say the words, “I”m sorry you have been treated that way, it’s a failed misrepresentation of who God is.”
I have been on both spectrum’s: the mistreated as well as the mistreating. Guilty as charged. But my eyes are opened. I see what needs to happen for God’s people to return to His love, His kindness, His goodness and His grace. And it has to start with me, in my home, in my life, in my representation of Christ.
I want so much more for my life and the lives of those around me than just a get-out-of-hell card through salvation. Salvation is the greatest gift He could have ever offered us, but there is a full, abundant life found in the arms of Jesus. Purpose, plans, desires and a wild ride is apart of it. Being a follower of Christ isn’t easy, no way. And representing Him in a way that is good, pleasing and found to be desirable in the eyes of others is even more difficult.
But, in Him, all things are possible. In Him, there is more grace. And in Him, there is more love.
And while I know the news headlines are filled with lot’s of doom and gloom, I believe the best days are ahead of us. I believe great things are coming. I believe cities all across America are about to explode with the love of Christ. And I believe that we all have an amazing opportunity to jump on board and be apart of this amazing movement of God.
I’m in. Are you?