Hooooo-kay. I stayed out of this as long as my sense of right and fair and safe would allow.
Just to be clear, let me start here:
I am a no-holds-barred, Jesus-following, Bible-quoting, EVERYBODY-loving kind of person.
When one of our friends complained about hypocrisy among Christians who claim to love but won’t get their hands dirty, Hubby paid me the highest compliment I’ve ever received.
That’s true about some people, but Casey doesn’t care if someone is a CEO, a gang member, the President, a prostitute or a homeless guy who stinks to high heaven. She’ll sit right next to any of them. And she’ll talk to them to death and probably end up hugging them.
I think everyone should be treated with fairness, respect and love. EVERYONE.
What people choose to do in their own time—and what people choose to believe is right or wrong—is not my responsibility or my problem.
Telling others what they’re doing wrong is not my job.
Some of my friends would argue that if we don’t help people see that they’re not perfect, they’ll never see a need for Jesus, since he died to take the punishment for sin.
Here’s how I see it: if we don’t LOVE them, they might never see a need for Jesus. Why would anyone want to join a team that picks on them?
Let’s apply “tell them they’re bad” logic to regular life:
“Well, your resume isn’t that great, and you don’t really have the experience we want, and you didn’t dress appropriately for the interview and honestly, we don’t really like you. But we’ve got an opening we have to fill. Want the job?
“To be honest, your presentation could use some work. However, we feel you have incredible potential and we’d love to train you. Want the job?”
“Hey, would you like to marry me? I mean, you’re not really good enough for my family, and in fact, they don’t like a lot of the things you do, but if I vouch for you, they’ll accept you.”
“I love you more than life itself. I would die for you. Will you marry me?”
“You come with a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of baggage. You make it insanely hard for anyone to get close to you. In fact, you’re actively pushing us all away with your horrendous behavior. But, I’m going to sacrifice all the fun in my life to find a way to help you, because that’s the right thing to do.”
“I know you’ve had a tough life, but my love for you is bigger and stronger than any hurt you’ve experienced, and we’re going to survive this together. I love you forever and always, no matter what. Would you like to be a part of my family?”
Love, not hate, is the answer.
Jesus never taught his followers to be judgmental.
In a recent conversation (okay, argument) with a friend, I stood my ground as he clung to the idea that we should tell people they’re sinners. We discussed the story of the woman caught in adultery (that story is a whole other post in itself) and brought to Jesus by the religious leaders.
My point: he didn’t let any of them judge her, and in fact he embarrassed them so much that they all left.
His point: Jesus told her he didn’t condemn her, but to stop sinning.
My point: Jesus is perfect. If he wants to talk with someone about sin, he can. That’s HIS job, not mine (because I’m certainly not perfect).
Side note: Jesus loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life. If you’d like to discuss that, I’m happy to help.
Jesus never taught his followers to discriminate.
In fact, he was always in hot water with the big-time religious leaders of that time because he hung around with SIN–NERS. Prostitutes, thieves (the tax collectors were notorious), drunks, liars, potty-mouths* and guys with anger issues.
He helped them change their lives by teaching and loving them.
If you can find an example of a time Jesus was mean to a person because they weren’t following him, let me know.
If you can find a time when Jesus fought back against something he didn’t approve by using deception, I’d like to hear about it.
Up Next: The Point.
*You know the story of when Peter denied he knew Jesus during his trial? The third time someone bugged him about it, he got so mad he cursed. Ever thought about the fact that someone could spend three years with Jesus and still be a potty-mouth? That sort of blows my mind. And makes me feel like less of a failure when I screw up.
My friends in Kenya, we send love.
For this, I have few words, many tears.