Do you ever wonder if you are living the life you are supposed to? Do you ever wonder if you are just going through the motions, day in and day out without real acknowledgement of what is actually driving you? Do you ever wish that you could just be all that you were meant to be???
I had a conversation the other day with someone, and I was given information that made me so sad. The information was that the church where I grew up.... some people there would rather split apart and make the "young" people go somewhere else, than to try to come together as a community of believers and compromise. It makes my heart hurt, because do you know what happens to a church if you force all of the "young" people to leave? IT DIES! There will be no church. You may not agree with everything those so called "young" people are doing or saying, but you know what? God probably does!
The thing is we get so caught up in being right that we forget to be human. We forget to love each other, listen to each other, and be thankful for those in our lives. How in the world do you ever expect anyone to want to get to know Jesus if you are pushing everyone away with your judgement and ridicule?
They won't. I guarantee you they won't. It is time to stop looking at drinking, sex, homosexuality, and drugs as the worse stuff you can do. Honestly I think it is far worse to think you are so righteous that you don't need to love others. So righteous that you look down on those around you because they aren't living lives that you think they should live. So righteous that you can't even step outside of your box, and give a meal or a kind word to someone that is living a life completely different from your own? How is that even close to being like Jesus?
We aren't called to be more righteous than our neighbor. We aren't called to sit in our little houses watching TV, reading our books, and waiting for someone to come knocking at our door so we can tell them exactly what to believe and why. We aren't called to place ourselves in only Christian communities where everyone thinks, dresses, and acts exactly how we do. That's not what we are called to.
We are called to worship, to love, to be people that put others before ourselves. We are called to make a difference. How can we make a difference if we aren't willing to hold conversations, to change the way we think, to meet a friend that is so different from us? It doesn't mean that I have to agree with everyone I call friend. But isn't it going to be easier to have tough conversations with those that I make connections with, than those that I turn away and condemn?
My job is to risk everything to be kind, compassionate, and loving. It makes me so angry when people that I know and love are anything but that. When they are so focused on the rules, or being right that they forget that there is such a thing as grace.
We can't divide ourselves by age, by sex, by political party. If we do that, then there are going to be a lot of empty families, and churches.
We have to stop putting people in boxes based on what we THINK they believe or because they align themselves with one party or another. Did you know that it is possible to think that Gandhi had some amazing words to give us without following every single thing that he said? Did you know that I can agree and disagree with my Uncle who is super conservative without us getting into fights? Did you know that someone can have a completely different political party alignment than I do, and I don't have to think they are a complete idiot? It's all so true! We have become so box based that we forget there is more than one way to get up the same mountain.
There has to be grace, love and compassion. There has to be open-mindedness. There has to be a time when you tear down the walls that you have built up, and let God move you and change you. There has to be a time when you truly start seeing people, ALL people as created beings. As people that love, and need to belong.
Don't push people away just because you don't agree with them, or you don't want to do things the way they are doing them. If you push them away, you just might be pushing away your chance to love them like Jesus.
This was the message I took away this past weekend. A message that was so real to me, as I am on the cusp of some pretty awesome changes. But it was also a message that led me to once again wonder if I am doing what I should be. I wonder if I am being called for something more....
What am I being called to let go of and risk? My thoughts for today...