I think too often, we miss it. We miss what it means to be a Christian in a world desperate for light and hope. We miss opportunities to live out Jesus’ words. We miss chances to speak life.
A friend of mine said, “Remember that the world will know we are Christians by our love. Currently, it seems that the world knows us more and more by our dogmatic stances on social issues.” How tragic these words are. I wish I could say they’re a lie, but it only takes a few minutes on social media to see they’re true. I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand for truth, but when the Church is known as a place where people will be met with judgement and condemnation, and when people feel that love can only be found outside of the Church, then something has gone horribly wrong.
What if we cared about people more than issues? What if we loved people with the audacious love Jesus showed in the Gospels? What if when the world saw us, they saw something remarkable, something beautiful, something they want to have and be a part of?
The world needs to see something different in us:
- Less fear; more hope rooted in trust in a sovereign and good God.
- Less anger; more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Less self-righteousness; more humility.
- Less of us using the Bible primarily as a tool for making a point or developing an argument; more of us being grounded in truth, reading the whole of scripture with the intention of getting to know our Savior and share His love.
- More of us believing God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do.
- Less of us focusing on the circumstances we can see right now; more of us fixing our eyes on the eternal Kingdom of God.
- More of us seeing people the way God sees them, each person made in the image of God and a life for whom Jesus died and resurrected.
- More of us living in the recognition of the extravagant grace that is daily given to us and, in turn, extending extravagant grace to others.
- More of us seeking first the Kingdom of God and being motivated by the desire to please Him in all we do.
- More of us making our voices heard in Heaven before making our voices heard on social media or in conversation with others.
- More of us making room for the Holy Spirit to move in and through us and to interrupt our day with beautiful and wonderfully messy opportunities.
This is the kind of Church that will change the world, the kind of Kingdom God is wanting us to be a part of, the kind of culture He wants us to start living in the here and now. We can do this! Who’s on board?