I saw something on Pinterest this afternoon that really made me stop and think. Yes, I admit I am a Pinterest addict. But I do legitimately put many of my "pins" to good use, so I feel that justifies my addiction... Sort of!)
Anyway..... This is one of the things I saw today that got me thinking so deeply that I decided to write a whole blog post about it:
Can I tell you just how much I LOVE this!?! Those who know me well know that modern day Christianity makes me so angry! I can't speak for God and I certainly don't want to put words in his mouth. But when I read through the bible and study all of the things Jesus was teaching his followers, I can only help but wonder if he would be furious with us for the image of Him that we have portrayed!
For example, how did Jesus respond In John 8, when the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and threw her down at his feet? They questioned Jesus as to whether he agreed with them that she should be stoned to death, as the law required. And what did Jesus say to them? “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” All the accusers eventually walked away in shame. And when Jesus was the only one left, he said to her, “Where are your accusers, does no one condemn you?” She replied (terrified and humiliated, I'm sure), “No one, Lord.” Jesus answered her with the most amazing words imaginable, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on, sin no more.”
Isn't that story simply incredible!? It gives me goosebumps!! Isn't it just like so many Christians today to catch this woman in the midst of her mistake and then try to make an example of her? Put her sins on display, all the while trying to make themselves look better! It's sickening, but true! Jesus has no desire to participate in their stupid little game, instead he uses the opportunity to turn the tables against the accusers. How's it feel when your sins are put on display? No one deserves that , and furthermore it does absolutely no good for anyone!
But my favorite part of the story is Jesus' response to the woman... "Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on, sin no more!" He has no interest in telling her what she has done wrong. She already knows that. Instead he is there to offer forgiveness and comfort! He is there to embrace her! But notice, he doesn't just stand around and tolerate her continuing to sin. He clearly tells her to change her ways! He just knows how to deal with his children in a loving manner that the modern day church has seemed to forget completely!
I'm not going to get into them right now, but I could point out dozens of similar examples throughout scripture (The parable of the Prodigal Son, His many times of forgiving David's mishaps, etc.). So where did we get so mixed up in our view of "Christianity"? And how do we fix it?
God doesn't expect perfection, in fact he knows its impossible for us to achieve! He just wants us to strive to be like Him! And no matter how many times we mess up, he'll embrace us and welcome us home again! That's not to say there are never consequences for our actions, but that's another post for another time!
So where do we begin to change this? We change our perspective and we strive to let everyone around us see the love of Christ through us! The best way for us to do this is to study who Christ really was and how he interacted with people. He didn't always see eye to eye with the leaders of the church. In fact, they called him "a glutton, a drunkard, and a friend of sinners!" He spent his days among the people the "Christians" were too disgusted to bother with! There isn't a single person on this earth that Christ didn't give his life for. Think about it, Christ not only spent his time among sinners, he DIED to make sure they could be saved! He sacrificed everything imaginable for each and every one of us and there is nothing we could ever do to change that!
Think about your own life, do you spend your days trying to show everyone you meet how much they are truly valued by Christ? Or do you spend your life being Thankful that Christ died for you, and thankful that you don't have a "messed up life" like this person or that person... Which one of the above scenarios would Christ want us to live like?
The only way we will ever see a change to the "hypocritical Christian" view we have been given, is to change ourselves and do everything we can to let others see what being a Christ follower is truly meant to be!
I hate using the word "Christian" to describe my relationship with Christ because it is used so loosely! So instead, I strive to be a "Christ Follower"!
Would you rather live your life as a "Christian" or a "Christ Follower"?? I've made my choice, it's time to make yours!!!