Change Through Love

change through love

You don’t change people through persecution, you change them through love.

I feel extremely passionate about people shaming in the name of Jesus, because I love Jesus and I am a person who allowed shame to keep me from him for far too long.

If you grew up in church, if you were brought up to trust God and follow the rules, if you had unwavering faith for most of your life– then maybe your relationship with God is a little more inside the lines.  And maybe because of that, you feel like you have more right to speak His truth and little more inclination to speak against what doesn’t align with His truth…

But here’s the problem: when you condemn you separate.  The finger you use to point is also pushing people away.  The enemy wants conflict and fear, and blame is directly tied to both of those.  We are not in a position to decide one sin is more unfavorable, less worthy of forgiveness, or more sinful than another.

I can’t quote scripture the way that I hope to some day be able to.  And I can’t tell you exactly what verse in what book of the Bible it can be found.  But I can attest that Jesus did not come to this earth to hangout with the righteous leaders pointing out everyone else’s flaws and shaming their mistakes.  He came to give hope to those on the other end of the finger.  He came to release those who were shamed.

Look, there are a lot of things going on with this world that are impure, not right, unjust, and completely out of tune with God’s word. And we do have a responsibility, as children of God, to share the Good News with others.  We are not here to sit back and watch our friends go to hell in a hand basket without raising concern and giving them some loving direction.

But my friends, my fellow believers, my good intentioned church family… you will not save ONE SOUL by TELLING someone to do better.  Jesus will save many souls when YOU do better.

Don’t tell them how he saves, show them how he’s saved you.

This year’s election, these pathetic debates, they are raising a hatred that this country hasn’t yet seen.  We are so insecure with our own decision over which political monster should run the country, that we have resorted to name calling, public unfriending, and evil rants against the opposing sides.  Allow me to make things a little more simple: neither candidate running for presidency is perfect.  Neither one seems to know God.  And neither one can ultimately save this country. 

You cannot condemn a man for something he said ten years ago, because if that were the case, I would not be in any position to share the news that I am now redeemed in the name of Jesus.  If someone hacked my own myspace from a decade ago, I doubt you would recognize me.  Am I to apologize for the rest of my life for being blind to my savior for so long?  And to whom should I apologize, who here is perfect? As Jesus himself said of the “sinful” woman brought before him, “Let He who has not sinned himself cast the first stone.”

On the flip side, you cannot tell me a woman who stands for pro-choice is a baby murderer.  She hasn’t yielded the weapon.  She hasn’t come up with the idea.  Abortion has been around for hundreds of years.  It used to result in a lot of unintentional suicide.  Now, God is only losing one of His children in the process.  Does that make it right?  No.  But can redemption be found after that ill-fated appointment that was made in the fear of the moment?  Yes. 

The fact is, we are asking our politicians to think exactly like we do, believe everything we believe, and have a history that is clean, un-jaded, and without skeletons.  So either we choose someone who is really good at lying and covering their tracks, or we realize we have to choose an imperfect someone who’s team stands for more of the things that we personally put the highest on our priority list.  We are not voting for a person.  We are not voting for a president.  We are voting for a cabinet that we believe will best serve the country as we see through the lens of our own, personal values. 

There is no such thing as justified unforgivness.  There is no such thing as justified hatred.  There is no such thing as justified ignorance, cruelty, or intolerance.  

There is not one person on this earth that Jesus would turn away if their hearts were softened to Him and their lives were dedicated to His purpose.  So I beseech you, fellow Christians, instead of proclaiming a person or group irrevocably damaged, start praying and extending and demonstrating the kind of grace and mercy God gave you.  You, who neither deserved it more nor less than your neighbor.  You will never win someone over to your side by making them feel like they are less than you.  Instead of telling them how wrong they are, tell them about when you were wrong and how you were still welcomed into our Father’s Kingdom.

And non believers, if what you are standing up for is equality, fairness, and justice for all…stop lumping together anyone and everyone who is voting opposite you as if who they vote for determines who they are.  That’s as shallow as deciding who someone is based upon their skin color, their religion, their career, their car, or their favorite color.  You are doing no better by spewing hate all over someone who is different from you in their beliefs than someone who spews hate all over someone who is different from them in any of the aforementioned areas.

The problem isn’t the people in this country, the decisions they make, or the person they vote for.  The problem is the enemy in the spiritual realm who wants you to believe the enemy is the people in this country, the decisions they make, or the person they vote for.

Fight back by loving harder.

How much of this do you agree with?  Share your opinions respectfully…it might be a bit messy round here, but let’s keep it classy!