Thursday, March 23, 2006

thinking out loud again

Being Christ-like is all about loving God, and letting that love show through loving people: all people, not just other Christians, not just the rich and not only the poor. A religion which sparks true humanitarianism, altruism.. We as Christians try to make ourselves different by the way we live, but all too often that turns into a set of rules that aren’t about God at all. They’re about who’s right and who’s wrong. I’m better than you because I follow these rules we made up better than you do. Yet this is how life becomes miserable; eventually the list of rules that’ve been nailed to your forehead—thrust in front of your eyes day and night, traps you in a web of guilt. It places the focus on sin rather than on God. What if Christians really were known by their love? What if we were more concerned about people, meeting them where they’re at and giving them what they need: physically and spiritually. Instead of trying to sell Jesus, we introduce Him as a friend by becoming a friend. Rather than attempting to convince people of God’s love we become that love for them. Why is it a sacrifice to become love? I’m reading a book right now, and in it the author tells about an event that happened at his college. In the middle of some mardi gras-ish event at the college, he and a few other students set up a booth. It was a confession booth. It wasn’t for the students to come in and confess to some priest though. A student would come in expecting to be confessing to someone, but instead a fellow student, a Christian, would confess to them and ask for forgiveness. These Christians asked forgiveness for hiding Christ and being ashamed to talk about Him. They asked forgiveness for the atrocities committed around the world by so-called Christians. What happened? Several students’ eyes were opened to the real love of God, and they told the Christians confessing to them that they truly appreciated this. I need to ask the world’s apology. I have not been love for people. So here is my apology: I am sorry for being so selfish. I’m sorry for hiding God, for not allowing Him to be my life. I’m sorry that I’ve forgotten about everyone else’s eternity because I am so secure in mine. I’m sorry for not wanting to see what’s really going on behind the Oh I’m fines. I’m sorry for even now not wanting to be uncomfortable for the sake of my Father. I have to admit that I’ve never had an unselfish thought. It’s only by grace that I am able to know Jesus. I have a hard time with grace. It’s too easy. I am constantly trying to win my way to God. I have been building my own little tower of babel, but each stone I lay crumbles right away and when I step back to survey my work I only see a pile of dust. I’m such an American too. I have everything in the world and all I see is what I think I don’t have. Do I see what other people don’t have? Once in a blue moon, maybe. But then, those impressions never last more than a little while. Like dreams, they go away and I forget about them almost as soon as they’re gone. I have a hard time thinking about other people too. When I go to Walmart, I don’t think about the sweat shop workers who labored over the stuff I’m buying. And if I do, they seem like fictional people, an idea in the back of my head that is no more real to me than… I don’t know. I’m out of comparisons.. but you get the point. I just painted a rather grim picture didn’t I? but the truth is, that only half of the picture. The truth is, there is a beauty surrounding us. There is grace, there is a mercy, and there is love. All these things are in that picture that at first looks sordid and bleak. Even in the most desolate of places there is God, and He is always trying to show us Himself. Why do you think the earth is so beautiful? There are beautiful people too, all of them. Jesus saw them. God help me to be brave enough to see them too. Goodnight.. may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may he cause His face to shine upon you all the days of your life.

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