Is it me?

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Just Me
Tags: , , , , , ,

Could I be the reason?
Is it me?
Did I do something?

It’s not that I feel like being their justification for not being a Christian or for not even going to church but….my heart is breaking right now for some I know who are suffering instead of healing, instead of knowing my Jesus….

I do believe that it’s every one of our responsibilities, as Christians, to honestly ask ourselves, these 3 questions. Not just to take a look in the mirror and walk away the same as we first approached those very difficult questions. But in order to set into action whatever necessary steps to change the part of us that could contribute to their justification. Let’s not look at it, for a minute, as their justification but allow ourselves to see us as they do.

Do I judge people who don’t go to church?

Do I act like I think I’m better because I openly profess to be a Christian?

Do I associate with only believers?

Do I cause them to feel terrible or guilty by my attitude toward them? (my interaction with them?)

Do I go out of my way to make a scriptural point every time I see them or talk to them?

Do I genuinely love them and show love to them?

Do I acknowledge them only if they show up at my church?

Do I make sure to point out every single act of theirs as ungodly or not Christ-like?

Do I gossip about them?

Do I judge their dress because it’s not modest or their hair because it’s long or short?

Do I teach my kids to treat people this same way?

These are questions that I’ve recently considered because I do have people in my life who have been hurt by people who profess to be Christians. We, who claim to be Christ-like, can ruin it for people to experience the real Christ and His love for them, because we get in the way! We show them the total wrong impression of Christ.

Don’t mistake this blog for taking all the responsibility off the person who chooses not to have a relationship with Christ but understand that we do have a responsibility also! There are years of evidence to prove, that as churches, we’re not ministering to people or meeting the needs of people the way that God instructs us. There are numerous stories of legalism that requires people to be perfect or we doom them to hell.  There is so much hurt among people who have entered our churches searching for an answer and leave feeling disgusted and dirty because of how we treated them. Others tried to live up to our standards and failed miserably and we were right there to load on the guilt and the utter disappointment at just the time they were really searching for WHO would actually deliver them from their demon. Women, who dressed like the world, and yet still attended our churches because that was the only thing they had in their closet to wear and yet we snubbed our noses at her instead of reaching out to her in genuine love and kindness.  Men, who quietly sat in the back of the church, crying beneath his breath, terrified to be seen for fear of his addiction being discovered and we ignored him instead of welcoming him into our arms and making it a safe place to be transparent. Teens, who were covered in tats, body piercings, spiked or colored hair or whatever else we might consider different, who were angry at the world and felt unloved at home, hoping that just one person would treat him like he or she existed, like they could be seen and heard. Yet, we shied away, hurrying our kids out the door before they saw such an “ungodly” display of “lost youth”. The visitor who bothered to get all their kids dressed, fed and out the door on time to only arrive late and “disrupt” the service who we glared at or whispered the directions to the nursery with an annoyed frown.  Pounding them with scripture, shouting damnation at them and standing superior as we judge their every breath does have to have an impact on their impression of God! Shame on every one of us ever guilty of such a similar offensive act!

I’ve even read where there are many people who consider the treatment they endured as a form of abuse, a traumatic time in their life that they still today, have difficulty recovering from. Can you believe that! Wow! That’s pretty bad! But it made sense to me that they could.

Jesus preached to multitudes and I’m sure they weren’t all believers who were perfect like we’d like to think we are. He reached hearts with His gentle approach, with His love, with His wide open arms. Mark 6:34 “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”  He didn’t beat them up to get their attention and neither should we! It doesn’t work!

So many people in this world have consciously chosen to stay out of church, to stay safe from repeating past hurts because they don’t trust us anymore and honestly, who could blame them? I don’t want to be a reason they could even try to use for not knowing God and being able to worship at the same church that I do, or any church.

I’d sure hate to be in Heaven one day and have God look at me and ask:

“just who do you think you are?

who are you to stand in judgment of them?

Romans 14:10 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

who are you to decide how they get treated?

are you sinless? are you blameless?

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

didn’t I have to cleanse your sins too?

didn’t you keep messing up too?

you are the one person they had a chance to see ME in – you and you blew it! because of you, they ran as far away from ME as they could get and looked for MY love in other things, in other people –

what do you have to say for yourself?”

Romans 14:13 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more:

but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock

or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”

That one person we shun, run off or treat badly may have been the very one God needed to reach someone else and we’ll never have that same chance they would’ve had. Maybe you or I can’t relate the same that they could so we’ll never know the full impact that we prevented. Pretty sad, right?

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I’m the only one feeling conviction & grief over these lost souls. But I doubt it. If I do get to have even a slim chance of being involved in someone’s choice as to whether or not they draw closer to God, I want to be the Christian God wants them to see. The genuine person who shows love and tenderness. Not because of anything I can do for them but because of all that He can do for them and with their lives! God can use each one of us and our lives, our experiences, to reach others to Him.

So, let’s determine to be more Christ-like and treat people the way He did. We can’t help but gain something too if even a better understanding of exactly who we are in Christ! People deserve the same kind of forgiveness, love and mercy He showed to us! That’s just my heart and it came from God so I had to share.

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