These days our nation is divided and at times in turmoil. Yes, I may be considered a lefty snowflake, but my most important title is Child of God. Most days I need to remind myself of that particularly on social media. I’ll admit that at times I fail miserably. I hesitate to call his blog a “christian” one as even the word christian can evoke negative emotions for some people. For a lot of non-believers being christian is associated with judging, condemnation and elitists attitudes. Non-believers don’t want any part of this and frankly, I don’t blame them. With the present political division I’ve noticed a trend of increased christian division. Recently, I had a social media conflict with a sister in Christ in which I overlooked that at the end of the day we both loved the Lord. It then occurred to me that my lack of humility and a sense of pride, because I KNEW I was right, was not how Christ taught. I apologize to anyone I may have offended in my pride filled comments. It is my firm belief that some of the words that we speak are divisive and certainly are not comforting to those who are hurting and seeking rest for their souls.
I believe that my thoughts on christian values are biblically sound and are directly taken from what Jesus demonstrated in His life. My prayer is that all people find comfort and peace and a feeling of belonging through Christ’s words.
The Old Testament is a wonderful group of books and prophecies that exhibit the love God had for His people. People will frequently cite O.T. scripture that support their personal beliefs, but it is important to know that when Christ came He had a new agenda. His ministry was one of love. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). At one time in my life I was weary and I so needed rest for my soul. I was fortunate that I took in Christ’s words and not those of condemnation and judgment. I had felt worthless related to bad choices in my life which just led to more bad choices. In the following words of Jesus, I realized I had worth and value. Listen with your heart. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulder and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’. I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:4-7). It was easy for this lost sheep to repent because of the shame and remorse over the bad choices I had made. I remember thinking, “He’s looking specifically for me!” You may wonder who are His sheep? His sheep are those who love money above all else, those that hurt with their words or actions, the woman who has had abortions, the man or woman who lie with other of the same sex, the murderer, the thief, the pedophile, the drug addict, the prostitute and so on. No matter what others may think, no sin is greater than another. Christ states clearly in Mark 3:28: “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them”.
Do I still sin or say words that may hurt others? Absolutely. I am very imperfect as is all mankind. Paul says in Romans 3:23-24, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ”.
Although I sometimes forget my principles before speaking or replying on a social media post, I try hardest to remember Christ’s repeated instructions to love one another. When asked what was the greatest commandment, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matt. 22:37-39). See also, John 15:12-13.
In spite of my best attempts to separate church and state, the most recent divide regarding stewardship over God’s creation and loving our neighbors, hurt me. So in light o Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20, I will try harder and I respectfully request that we all pray to guard our words and that we be kind to one another. This way if even one person is seeking rest for their soul, they might conclude by our words and, hopefully subsequent investigation, that Jesus was a pretty cool dude. Thank you for your time.