Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lofty Glances from Lofty People

I would like to think my life experiences have made me a more compassionate, understanding, supportive person. Far too often I think Christians are prepared to deal with sin and brokenness only to a certain degree. Once you cross that line into the "really bad" sins, you are met with judgment, condemnation, anger, and even people turning their backs. It's too much to deal with real life situations, so we either try to take too much into our own hands, or we turn away and run.  The "judgmental Christian" might be a stereotype, but behind every stereotype is some truth. Well Christian readers, I have a challenge to extend to you; one that has been heavy on my heart:

What would it look like instead of crucifying people for their "really bad" sins, we loved them even when they don't deserve it? What would it look like to reflect the grace and love and mercy of Jesus instead of the whispers and gossip and ridicule? What if we stop making their issues about us and how they offended us? Not everything is about you; you just aren't that important. Let's get back to being Jesus and not just bible-thumping and banging people over the head with Jesus. Let's forgive and love. Let's take our grievances before people individually and before the cross. Let's show compassion, because we must remember this: we all have a part in how people change, for better or worse. And our response to a person who is struggling will either help bring them closer to God changing their heart, or will push them further away from the truth. You aren't responsible for changing them, but you are responsible for leading them to or away from God. Let's be kind and gentle, not arrogant and lofty. Afterall, tomorrow brings a whole new set of troubles, and tomorrow it could be you. Jesus abandoned the people who have it "right" to go search for the one lost sheep. So if it's Jesus you are looking for, stop looking in the mirror and start looking at the very people you think have it all backwards. That is where you will find Him.

I challenge you to think about people who have come to you for support. Do you think you truly helped them, or did you simply spew advice and bible verses until they either felt so bad about themselves or so turned off from Christianity that they left you alone.  There is a time for calling a person out in love, for rebuking the sin. But sometimes, the best and only thing we should do is put our arms around someone and walk through the fire with them. We are so afraid of getting burned, too, that we forget fire also refines.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Eph. 4:31-32 

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people

Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction


cj eldredge said...

i was blessed by reading this today.
God spoke to me thru you...
now the hard part: to listen... process... and act...

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