Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Is Anybody Following?

Self Reflection
It's time for some self-reflection.  Somehow what we (Christians) have been doing has made some people think that we are against them.  Perhaps some people think that because they have encountered a so-called Christian who was against them.  We do get lumped into one bunch often, no doubt.

Whatever the reason, we have to change their minds.  Jesus - our leader, teacher, savior, master - was not against people.  He was for people.

He was for the woman caught in the very act of adultery.  He forgave her and, because he was for her, called her to give up the sin that was bringing her down.  He invited her to a life of purity.  This was a better life; the best life!  He was for her.

He was also for the men who had brought the woman to Jesus.  Their self-righteousness, unbelief, and judgmental spirit was going to destroy them as they stoned this woman.  Jesus caused them to evaluate themselves and they all walked away without blood on their hands.  Jesus was for the stoners.

What do you think Jesus wanted to accomplish as he lived among us?  The gospels say that he came to save the lost.  He came so that we could have life to the full.

He was not focused on making sure that everybody knew the difference between him and the "sinners."  In fact, he became sin for us.  He was holy, righteous, perfect, and sinless; yet instead of behaving in a way that pushed  sinners away, he identified with them.  He ate with them.  He was friends with them.  And they followed him.

Did you get that?  They followed him.

If we are really for people, if we are really interested in leading them to the abundant life, we need to do something different.

Turn around and look at who we are trying to lead.  "Sinners" feel, in many instances, like we are against them; so they aren't following.  They are huddling together getting prepared to fight because they think that we are attacking.

It isn't enough to say, "They have the wrong impression."  If they do, it is up to us to make another impression.  That isn't easy.  It takes time, dialogue, determination, understanding and love.  We have to do it.

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