It happened again. This week, I sat in front of the television, watching the news and found myself angry, ashamed, and saddened. It wasn’t the violence, desperation, or human condition, usually flooding media these days. Instead, it was the realization of society’s view of Christianity today and how in some ways it’s our fault the world views us the way it does.
As I listened to a news anchor calls the values of my Father “outdated”, “backwards”, and “self righteous”, I felt the breaking of my heart for people who will never know His love because they don’t know the truth about Him or His Son based on how we represent Him.
Now don’t get my wrong, there are plenty of God fearing, completely sold-out-for-Him followers of Christ out there, but those representations don’t appear to be what the world sees. They see a body of people who judge the world, live in excess but withhold giving abundantly to those in need, fight among themselves, and who speak love but do not appear to know how to love themselves. They see people who confine themselves to a building of four walls where they go to upstage each other on supposed holiness and get their “Jesus fill for the week.” They see a lot of fakes, and a lot of rules (Luke 11:35-44). Would you want to follow a god that appears to condone such actions from His people? Whether this is truth or not, this is how many people perceive us. If you don’t believe me, try typing “christianity is outdated” into Google.
How do we change the world’s view of us? We go back to His model. We start loving people. We live like we have a love worth dying for. We start showing people the type of unconditional love Jesus died for, and we believe it and strive for it with ever fiber of our souls (John 3:16). We build relationships among each other and among people in the world who may be wandering hopelessly seeking a love they’ve never known. We build each other up instead of tearing each other down. We always speak truth; but we speak it with grace, love, and peace. We pray for each other. We speak with the authority we’ve been given even when it scares us. We do not only what’s right, but sometimes we even do what’s hard. We speak to nations. We become servants of one another (Matthew 23:11). As my pastor stated profoundly this morning, we should be obedient in carrying out what He tells us to do because “It may not even be about you. It may be God getting you in a place to touch others around you…We need to start acting like who we are.” We need to remember who we stand for even when we’re having a bad day because “God still speaks through you even when you’re having a bad day.”
I am just as guilty as anyone else, and I don’t mean to come across as preachy or condemning. But as western world culture turns farther and farther from God, we should feel an urgency, not an apathy, for affecting those around us. We should attempt to share His goodness and blessings in a positive, unmistakably different way every day. We should be ambassadors and represent Him well (1 Corinthians 13:13).
- Act as a new man/woman.
- Act declaring (declare truth and His goodness).
- Act as a conqueror instead of a prisoner.
- Act as a blessed man/woman instead of a pauper (no matter how much or how little you have).
- Act righteous and not as a sinner (He has made you worthy!) – Romans 6:11
- Act free, not bound (He has freed you from the chains. Go tell the world!)
- Act as a son and an heir (let to world know how good your Father is).
- Act forgiven (and forgive others).
* Wise words from Pastor Richard Marcello.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.” – 1 John 3:18-20
In love and peace,
The In-Place Missionary