Just like in the world of non-believers, there are some characters in the world of believers. One of my favorite blogs to read daily is Stuff Christians Like. Totally sarcastic most days and funny (he is a Christian who makes fun of Christians). Other days Jon really gets deep and goes inward in ways that anyone can relate to. It’s like that song you hear on the radio that spoke perfectly to you and your neighbor and the guy in California who is tuning in on his computer. All of you perfect strangers, but all of you able to relate to that song on some level. You’ll be able to relate to most of Jon’s deep posts and you’ll probably laugh out loud to most of his funny/sarcastic ones. He’s a blog dynamo and has recently signed a book deal based on the blog. Cool, huh?
When I first started my journey as a salvaged wreck of a person, I was quite zealous. I don’t mean that in a totally good way either. I flat got carried away. I offended so many people I can’t even begin to list them all. I probably even offended people I don’t know I offended. I used the Bible as a weapon on many occasions and stood on my throne of righteousness a time or two too many. I was so spiritual and perfect back then. Ha! Not!!
As I’ve matured in my faith (and I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go), I have realized a few things.
- It is far, far better to live your life authentically (yes, that means flaws showing) and honestly. There is no bigger turn off than a person who claims to be so perfect and to have it all together. Christians are redeemed, but they are broken and flawed and sinners and beyond needy just like everyone else. What do Christians have that’s different? Hope of undeserved and perfect eternal life. Grace that only comes from God. Joy that makes no sense.
- Battling it out with other Christians about stupid goofy things kills a person’s testimony or witness. You want to make a non-Christian roll their eyes and do this whole “just like I told you, Fred, they are nuts at that church” then get into a battle with another Christian in a public forum. Better yet, start throwing Bible verses at each other no matter how far out of context you’ve taken them. I am just as guilty of this as the next guy so don’t get all screwy faced on me. I know.
- Speaking your Christianese turns Christians off so what the heck do you expect to accomplish by telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry “Jesus loves you man”? Makes you look like some weirdo cult member. Makes people think that if they sign up to follow Christ they have to become all strange and say things like “Praise the Lord” and wear make-up like Jan what’s-her-name on TV. Soooo entirely freakin’ crazy weird and psychotic. Yikes!
I could go on and I’m sure you could add your own stuff here as well.
There is a flip side too. It’s called condemnation. You may try to justify your actions by saying you’re “calling someone out” or “sharpening a fellow Christian”. But, in reality, you are being a jerk plain and simple — and a judgmental one at that. It’s so very immature and unkind. It definitely bears no fruit of the Spirit. None.
“What on earth do you mean by that, Heidi?”
There are a handful of Christians out there who like to pretend to not judge other people. They seem to be so open-minded and carefree on the surface. But all it takes is a little paying attention and the dark and ugly are revealed. I have something to say about that because I am flabbergasted almost every single time I see it. It’s like they expect other Christians to live a life of perfection and they raise this ridiculous bar that cannot possibly be reached by any human being on the face of this planet. However, they get all the leeway they need to be broken and shattered. Huh? What a double standard. Wow.
But here’s the reality. We’re all broken and shattered. We aren’t perfect in our walk of faith. We aren’t perfect parents or spouses or siblings or children or friends, etc. We are not even close. If we were, why the heck would we need Jesus? I mean, seriously? Think about that.
So to all you crazy Christians out there (myself included), lighten up. Save your negative and judgmental rants for after December. Better yet, make it your New Year’s resolution to stop harping on each other. Do you know a Christian who annoys you? So what. The more you allow that person to irritate you the more you are letting that person control you. Let. It. Go. God will deal with him or her. You should know this.
Let’s focus on what matters this season. It’s the birth of Christ. Reconcile your differences. Bury your hatchets. Drop your stones. Just stop the craziness already. So you hate Santa, Christmas trees, lights, and eggnog. Who the heck cares? Really? Who?
Jesus really is the reason for this season. And isn’t it lovely? Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it amazing?
God became flesh. He who rules over angels. He who sits on a throne. He who created the universe.
He came as a helpless baby. Born in a stable filled with stinky animals. Laid in a manger full of hay rather than a soft bed of silk and satin. Raised by a carpenter and a young girl. From Nazareth (which was a nothing town back then). He humbled Himself for us. To save us. Focus on Him.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Peace in your hearts.
Joy on your lips.
Love flowing from your every deed.