There are many things to be angry about in this world. Violence, injustice, powerful people making decisions we don’t agree with. There is a lot happening all around us and it is difficult to make sense of it all.
As Christians, many of us know that, as a whole, we are disliked. We are labeled as judgmental, old-fashioned, homophobic, and the list goes on. And while they are often used to describe all Christians, unfortunately, there may be some truth to the labels. They are based on people’s experiences with one, or a group of us, who dropped the ball on living like Jesus. After all, we’re all human.
Living like Jesus is such a loaded phrase, isn’t it? I spend much of my time wondering what exactly that means, but thankfully we have a guide. The Bible gives us so many examples of how Jesus lived; the things that He did in his life on earth. I think of Jesus, eating dinner at the house of a tax collector, and spending time with the prostitutes. People that the world, and even those who claimed to worship God, rejected. Jesus was love, pure, and simple.
Sometimes guys, I think we take our faith too seriously. A popular coffee joint omits decoration on their seasonal coffee cups and it somehow becomes an attack on Christianity. We disagree with someone’s sexual orientation or their choice to have an abortion and so we make a lot of noise to show that we do not condone those lifestyles. And not that there is anything wrong with opinions or beliefs on mainstream issues, but it’s not our job to protest the loudest.
Sometimes I think we may not really believe that God is in control. He knows what He is doing and that He has the whole world in his hands. We see the world falling apart before our eyes and we set out to straighten it out by any means necessary. Jesus says, “be my hands and feet,” and we run off to judge, shame, and condemn. We see the pain, the brokenness, and we lose sight of Jesus. We freak out and scramble to change the world for him. Out of our fear and desperation, we try to control and we forget to simply love.
God doesn’t need our help. He asks for it, and He uses us to reach the world. But he doesn’t need us to run around putting out fires. It is not our job to change the world, to change someone’s lifestyle, to change someone’s heart, or the heart of our country. It is our job to follow Jesus, to look to Him before making a move, to receive His grace and freely extend that to others. We need to calm down a little bit, because God’s got this, He is in complete control.
You guys, we serve the creator of the universe. Nothing can stop Him! As serious as our faith is, we don’t need to take it so seriously. Stand firm in your beliefs, challenge each other, encourage love and acceptance, and hate what is evil. Do all of those things in the name of Jesus, but do not fall into the trap of acting out of fear.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus, but we are not Him (thank God), so relax a little bit. Take it all with a grain of salt. Rest in the truth that God is in control of the big stuff, and that we are only asked to step out in faith, one moment at a time and shine His light into the world. Following Jesus is serious, but we don’t need to take everything so seriously.