Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where's the love?

Recently, something has been on my heart and I want to share.

My heart has been so heavy and it makes me so sad.  I have seen so many negative posts about Jesus on Facebook lately, and it break my heart.

I can't muster anger, only sadness.

But am I surprised?  Absolutely not.

The thing is I get why people are posting such negative stuff.  They see those of us that are claiming to be Christians acting so mean and hateful and so they assume our God is the same way.

I think it is a logical assumption but it is so far from the truth and it makes me so sad because I don't know how to make people understand that.

The Jesus I know and love, is loving and kind.  He is fair and just.  He loves us more than we can ever put into words.  He loves us when we are making good choices and when we are making bad ones.

I wish people could understand that.  That God is nothing like those of us that love Him.

But with all of the hot button topics right now and both sides basically spewing hate to get their message across, how is that showing Jesus?

We get so wrapped up in proving our point and how we are right and everyone else is wrong, that we forget the other person is a human being that deserves to have their views valued and respected, even if we disagree.

What baffles me is we think we can change people's mind by being mean or disrespectful to them.  I am pretty sure that I am not changing any of my ideas or thoughts when the person trying to convince me is being rude or mean.  In fact, quite the opposite happens.  I shut down.  I simply think that they are jerks and stop listening to a word that is being said.  Even if they have the best idea in the world, I think it is probably the worst, all because of the delivery.

I don't know when disagreeing with someone gave us the right to be hateful, but it definitely should not be ok with any of us.  The God I know, the Jesus that died to save me, sat at the dinner table and ate with people others were convinced were "unworthy" or "sinners".  He didn't shout insults at them or belittle them.  He sat and ate with them.  Talked to them.  Listened to them.

We don't all have to have the same opinions, ideas, thoughts, views.  That is what makes life interesting. We are all different and unique.  My point is when someone disagrees with you, maybe try to take the time to understand where they are coming from.  Listen to their side and extend grace.  Share your views without insulting them.

If we are going to call ourselves Christ followers, which is what I think we should be striving for, then we need to be showing Him to the world.  We need to be extending the same grace and love to others that He shows to us, even when we disagree with them, even when we think they are wrong.  After all, we all fail Jesus daily.  We will never live up to His goodness or perfection, but that doesn't stop Him from loving us or saving us.  That doesn't make Him condemn us or weigh us down with guilt or shame.  He does the exact opposite.  Even as He was dying on the cross, for your sins and mine, He still begged forgiveness for us.

If Jesus can extend grace, love and mercy to us when it was our sins that kept Him nailed to the cross, then why can't we?

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