Saturday, December 2, 2017

More Alike Than Different

Do we realize that we're more alike than different? Clearly not when we look at the state of our country. I think most of us think we're so vastly different than our neighbor, we may as well just dislike them from the get-go. I have a blogging friend who is, at first glance, so different than me you'd think we'd have nothing to talk about or anything in common. I mean, hello, that's what I thought! Then we chatted, and chatted some more. Turns out, we're more alike than different!

I would actually like to speak more in this post to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Several years ago, my daughter and I were driving together and she said something so profound (actually it probably won't be to many, but it was to me) it utterly changed my way of thinking. I can't remember verbatim, but basically it was, "But they don't believe like we do, so they're not held to the same standard as us, right? They can't follow what the Bible says because they don't believe in it." It broke my heart when I realized I hadn't been living with this thinking all along. Maybe you're like me and thought the same way too. Do you remember yourself before you came to know Jesus personally? Holy Hannah, she was right!

Once I became a Christian, I basically wanted everyone to live the way → I ← believed. I followed the rules now and thought everyone should too. It didn't seem too complicated, except that it was! I was pretty much a modern day Pharisee. I didn't realize I was living in a very legalistic mindset!

As Christians, we are told to love God and love others. Loving others should come as an extension of loving God. Jesus is our living example. When we look at how Jesus treated others, people who were sinners, did he berate them, throw stones, or show hatred? We know he wasn't Mr. Fluffy saying, "Oh, go do what you want. Whatever makes you happy is fine by me." No. Jesus is a balance of grace, mercy, and Truth. Truth isn't always easy.

Here's a great example of Jesus lovingly taking care of a sinner and then speaking Truth to them. John 8: 2-11 A woman is about to be stoned because she was caught in adultery. Did he look at her like she was disgusting, like she had no value, or that she deserved to be stoned? That would be a big negatory good buddy! He turned to those who wanted to stone her, the BELIEVERS, not the SINNER, and said to them, "The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her."

I mean, hello, can we talk about Matthew 7: 1-6? Do Not Judge Let's muck that out for a minute, shall we? When we see a brother or sister in Christ who is making poor decisions and who is sinning, we need to approach them as we're led by the Lord to lovingly remind them of their relationship to Christ. But, Christian, if you are judging that person, you my friend are a sinner just as much as they are. You need to take that big ol' log out of your own eye. Jesus calls you a hypocrite! Ouch! BEFORE you go to a brother or sister in Christ...NOT an unbeliever, get yourself right with the Lord so you can approach that person.

Le's say your family finds a stray puppy. I know, I know, I'm comparing human beings to a puppy. Just roll with me here, okie dokie? If you find a puppy, or even an old dog roaming down your street, is your first thought to go over and yell at it, kick it, or berate it for not being at home with it's master? No! (at least I hope it's a no) You see that it's lost. That it's probably scared, hasn't eaten any good food, and could use some water. That's how people are without the Lord in their lives. They might not be scared, but they are lost. They haven't eaten the bread of life or drank the living water. As the family, you need to gain their trust, bring them home and love on them! That's what unbelievers need from us!

Look at the stinking world around us! How much hatred do you see towards one another? How much of it do you see coming from God fearing, God loving Christ followers? I see way too much. I can only imagine how heart broken God is when he looks at those who claim to love Him and follow Him. How would you feel as a parent if your kid was condemning one of the other kids in his class? What if your child saw another child look at another student's test? Then your child stood up yelling that he caught that child cheating and that he should be sent to the principal's office and suspended from school or even expelled. Would you be mortified and completely saddened by your child's behavior? I'd imagine that's how our Father might look at us some times. Yelling, pointing fingers at the unbeliever who doesn't understand! What are we thinking? Honest to goodness.

I know that we all need to take a deep look inside. We have to understand we aren't perfect and we don't have all of the answers! We are all in need of a Savior. EVEN if we're Christians we are still in need of Christ's grace and mercy on a daily basis.

Get grace, give grace.
Get mercy, give mercy.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.