Yes, I know. No post last Saturday. Sorry about that. :) After writing a post every day for the blog party at Stories by Firefly, I didn't have it in me to write something posting-worthy.
I'm sitting down to write this post later this evening instead of this morning...or all day... Because I haven't felt like writing a 'good' post. Typing it out and admitting it, I'm making myself sound lazy. But I don't mean it to be. I had originally intended to write a post on faith and what it looks like to have a 'living faith'. But that's not what's on my heart right now, not this evening.
(A ramble and a rant -- maybe that's what I should've titled this post, as it's already became a bit of a ramble and it's only going to worsen.)
As I mull over all these thoughts racing through me, I'm left wondering how I can write things that are uplifting and encouraging, when I'm not sure I want to be uplifting or encouraging. Maybe I don't need to be either.
Maybe hard and honest is what we all need to hear this evening. So I'll go with that.
Since we're going with hard and honest, here's some facts for you:
>> I'm human, you're human. Everyone on the globe is a human being, created in the image of God.
>> We all sin daily, hourly even, and fail Christ. Yet He loves us -- each and everyone -- with a love stronger and more powerful than death and the grave.
>> Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, your sins, and the sins of every other sin-sick person that exists now, has existed, or will exist. We're all equals and He loves us all the same.
Assuming we're all clear on this, let's go one step further. If we're on the same level as the rest of humanity, what makes us different? Or better yet, are we different?
As Christians we are -- we are different. We have Jesus Christ residing in our hearts. But is that obvious to those around us? Are we letting His light shine? Are we being a peculiar people, ambassadors of the cross?
Maybe a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance bad-mouths you, talking filth and spreading lies behind your back. Maybe there are people in your life who are cruel back-stabbers. Maybe you've been hurt, time again, by their lies, deception, and falsity.
If you're like me, these what-ifs are bringing specific instances to your mind. Chances are, the people who wronged you never apologized and amends were never made.
But... That isn't really what matters. Is it?
Luke 21:17 tells us that we will be "hated of all men for My Name's sake", so we expect should opposition in our lives. We are living in a world that's been marred by the fall of man. How can we expect our lives to be perfect?
The truth is, it matters little what people think of us, what they say behind our backs, and even how they treat us. What does matter is how we treat them.
When they talk behind our backs, do we talk behind their's? That's not showing Jesus' love.
When they spread lies, do we turn away and ignore them? Jesus wouldn't.
When they hurt us, do we try to hurt them back? To be spiteful? Jesus says to turn the other cheek.
Believe me when I say I'm as guilty as anyone else of being uncaring, of not showing Christ's love. Of turning away, thinking "they're too far gone." Nothing is beyond God's great grace.
As Christians, we're called to show Christ-likeness. Not just to those we like. Not just to those who like us. But to everyone. Jesus died for everyone, loves everyone. Who are we to deny them eternity in heaven? We may not see it that way, but when we turn them aside, we aren't leading them to Him.
Jesus was a friend of sinners -- all sinners. And we should be too. I'm challenging myself and anyone reading this to love more freely and be a better light for Christ in the days, weeks, and months ahead. What better way to minister to the lost than to show them love -- true love.
There are plenty of other sinful people in the world to lead these people astray. Let's be the different ones -- the ones that stand out. The ones that, when the world looks at us, they say "they're different. I want what they have."
This post is quite different from what I've been posting lately, but it feels right. Hopefully you got something from it, and God bless you all. <3