Day 73... But I Think You're Wrong
Do you ever read a book and come across a statement that causes you to pause and then you read it again and realize that that one line may have just changed your life. If you haven’t…. You’re reading the wrong books. Haha (I highly recommend you start with the Bible.) Every once in a while I come across one of these statements. I’ve come to a point where I keep a list of them now. One, because I love myself some lists and two, because, unfortunately, I don’t remember things I don’t write down.
I came across the following quote this morning in a book that I am currently reading:
It comes more naturally to us to shout the gospel at people from a distance than to involve ourselves deeply in their lives, to think ourselves into their culture and their problems, and to feel with them in their pain. - John Stott
And I can’t help but think about all of the hot topics, across the spectrum, opinion breeding situations we have been currently dealing with. And I can’t help but wonder if so many of us that claim to love Jesus are reacting to those situations in a way that is actually honoring to Him. And I kind of hate Facebook. Which might be ironic since I’m posting this here.
We go back to gathering with the church in a physical building tomorrow. Can I be honest? I have really mixed emotions about this. I’m so excited to see people. But I’m so stressed out. People are really good right now at having strong opinions. And I can freely say that because I promise you I have some very strong opinions too. And there’s nothing wrong with having strong opinions if you’ve taken the time to know what you are talking about and if they align with God’s Word. But right now in the midst of those strong opinions people seem to be struggling at showing grace to anyone who doesn’t think the same way they do.
Ultimately, to be quite honest, if people know more about where I stand on masks, or this virus, or racism, or police brutality, or any issue you can think of more than about how Christ has changed my life, I think I’m doing something wrong. Because in the end friends none of those issues are going to change because I’ve argued with someone and convinced them I’m right. They will change though if I approach those who are hurting and struggling with the love of Christ and if I show grace upon grace in all situations.
I’m challenged that regardless of where I stand on things, I don’t need to shout it at people from a distance. I don’t need to broadcast my condemnation of people who think differently than I do on Facebook, and I don’t need to unfriend people simply because our beliefs don’t align. Regardless of where I stand on things, I need to involve myself in people’s lives. I need to take the time to walk in their shoes: to understand their culture, their fears, and their problems. I need to love them like Jesus would.