i know i've recently blogged about this, but i feel heavy, heavy, heavy... that i need to write about it again.
Believers, Christians, Christ-Followers;
We can't ever, ever, ever - get tired of reiterating God's love for mankind. In this life, we will have trouble. We will get called names (& sometimes we'll deserve them) & the name of God will be mocked. We'll run into the same arguments over and over and over again... & it's tempting to shut our eyes & ears to the hurting individuals suffering (or not seeming to suffer at all) from living apart from God. Christians have a reputation for "intolerance", "bigotry", and "hatred"... (both earned... & often unearned).
Don't live up to that reputation... Don't give in to the urge to 'snap' - to say something sarcastic and unloving - to fail to represent the Loving Father who sends us out into the world...
Let those labels wash off you - refuse to wear them - gently, relentlessly and tirelessly - put on the garments of love.
i don't know how this looks. i don't. When inviting others to participate in 40 days of prayer for an end to abortion is "hate speech" - or when reading the Bible to my little ones is 'indoctrinating ignorance' - or when i was told that i shouldn't view my premarital sex as sin, but instead i should celebrate my sexual freedom... i know that there are differences in understanding that are hurtful, harmful and that are separating Christians from the world around them at an alarming rate. The mere mention of words like homosexuality and abortion raise temperatures - & we forget... that Jesus loves the people... the individuals... that struggle with the ramifications of our broken world. Sometimes it's tempting to paint with broad strokes - (& yet we hate being painted in that same way...) It's tempting to just ignore the issues over which the battle currently rages (can't we just focus on the cute little baby in the manger??)
i want to understand more. i want to bring more comfort, i want to be an ambassador for truth, but i feel certain in all this... that i'm not to tire of love. i'm not to tire of biting my tongue if i feel angry, of speaking truth vulnerably, gently and with compassion. If i'm asked to explain it again? i wanna just explain it again.
i'm only a sinner, saved by grace. My Father so tenderly exposes the areas in my life that are rotting, because i choose to live my life in communion with Him... there are others that don't have that communion - & it's no surprise that the lie continues - calling evil good and good evil, or that so often we put darkness for light and light for darkness, we put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isn't this generation wise in our own eyes and clever in our own sight? (isaiah 5)
i was watching a blogger this week carefully navigating a topic she has written about countless times - there is research, understanding and wisdom behind her posts - but then the comments will flow - the same comments she would get when she would originally blog on this topic *years* ago... the comments that twist her words & meaning - no matter how clearly she'd write. She must sometimes be tempted to think that in all these years, no ground at all has been covered. But we don't always get to see the fruit that grows from our faithful labour of sowing...
(Oh, Father, help me to be faithful!)
And so i'll say it again and again...
God loves you.
He LOVES you.
My Father God? He loves YOU.
It's the starting and ending of every contentious conversation, it's the blanket swaddled over the bandaged wounds, it's the water to the thirsty and the bread to the hungry.
You are the precious child of the Father.
Run to Him.