I’ve been going to church my whole life! Well, since I was 9 years old so I consider that my whole life. I grew up in Louisiana so being from the South puts a whole other spin on the idea of being a Christian and going to church.
I was reading the comments on an article about a person that professed to be Christian. This person the article was written about doesn’t act much like a Christian. First, let me say I don’t like the word, Christian. I prefer to be a Jesus Follower. There are too many connections to be a “Christian”. I’m a follower of what Jesus taught and not what church believes is correct.
As I was saying, I was reading the comments on this article and one stood out to me. The person said that why would he/she want to serve a God that sends people to hell. I thought, what have we done? If this is what people think that being a Christian is about then we’ve made a big, terrible mistake if all people think that my God is mean and about punishment. We’ve gotten things terribly wrong and we should be ashamed. We have portrayed Jesus as being mean, nasty, hypocritical, judgmental and that’s not why He came. We have focused on the “do not’s” and completely missed the “do’s”. We have totally missed it!
The Word says that Jesus came to give life more abundantly! He came because he loved us so much that he wanted to be able to spend eternity with us. This is lover talk. Jesus was compassionate, loving, understanding, gracious, forgiving and extended grace unto the far reaches of the earth. These are not the attributes that we’ve portrayed as Christians. Just think, if your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife told you they loved you so much they wanted to spend eternity with you! Your heart would melt! (I’m a Jane Austen fan so this would be the equivalent of a Mr. Darcy moment.)
Why would we do this? Even raising my children, I did not focus on the things they did that were bad. I would correct them, but I didn’t want the focus to be they were bad. I noticed that if I focused on the good they accomplished, they would grow stronger and more loving and try to do even more loving things. The more I highlighted the good the better they became.
What if the state of our society is our fault? What if it’s because all we have done as Christians is focused on all the bad things that people have done. We have stood on our judgmental throne and pointed our boney fingers at the “others” and judge them unfairly. Jesus even ate with a tax collector, which was considered a “sinner” back in his time. How many of us could have dinner with a murderer? Could I invite that person to my house? I don’t know.
To anyone that is reading this blog. Please forgive me for being judgemental and unforgiving. I want to really be a Jesus follower and not just a Christian. I want to have that compassionate, loving nature. I want people to see love from me and not judgment. I want to give grace to things I don’t understand.