I haven’t written much on this blog of late. As a matter of fact, my better half seems to be churning out content left and right, leaving me in the dust. She has a lot of great things to say, and it always pays dividends when I decide to listen to her. 🙂
I did want to write an “end of 2018” message of sorts, however, to talk about my own personal spiritual growth this year, and how God has challenged me in new and unique ways.
Speaking of content, the good Lord has provided plenty of “content” to make me discontent with my status quo. This is a good thing. Often we can become complacent and set in our ways; unwilling to listen, and unyielding from what we know to be right.
Let me provide a perfect example:
“Everyone” knows Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the best motorcycles in the world. Indian motorcycle riders have settled for less, and ride an inferior product. And those “metric” riders (Asian, European bikes), well, they are just completely unhinged.
Now to me, that’s just the honest-to-God truth about motorcycles. There is only one brand I will buy for a myriad of reasons. BUT, if I went to a motorcycle meet and greet, and proclaimed this to the other riders, there may not only be some hurt feelings, but anger, resentment, and bitterness. Of course I’m saying this all tongue-in-cheek. Though they are my favorite motorcycles, I also have Hondas and Yamahas sitting in my garage as well. My favorite phrase is “anything on two wheels.” Believe you me: I mean that.
Now let’s talk about God’s TRUTH, which unlike my opinion of motorcycles, is actually rock-solid, and the perfect Word of God. Yes I’m talking about the Bible. How do we handle that kind of knowledge and internal conviction about God’s Word in public, and with so many dynamic and beautiful differences in people? My answer? Present the Word when asked, but do not impose it on others.
I liken it to trying to force someone to like golf. I find golf particularly boring to watch on TV. If I’m down on sleep, I will seek out golf on TV. So if I ask you what your favorite sport is, and if you tell me you like golf, and that you think golf is the most amazing thing in the world, that’s perfectly fine. After all, I just asked you! But if you’re going to insist that golf is not only the best, but it should be my favorite sport, you’re going to tell me about all of the amazing chip shots of the 1990s, and you force a set of clubs in my hand and tell me we’re going out on the links, I’m probably not going to receive it very well. Golf, in fact, may be super awesome, but I will never know it, because of the way I was approached about this mega sport.
So can you relate to the golf example? Good. Now let’s give the God example:
God, more over Christ Jesus, is the only path to salvation. You committed adultery? Not good. Oh, you’re homosexual? You’re doomed. That’s an abomination! Here’s a Bible. It’s the inerrant Word of God, and if you don’t read it, you’re really screwing yourself. I know you’ve never had a relationship with Jesus Christ, but you may not have much time, and if you don’t start, you could be in serious trouble.
Okay, so I know that was an over-the-top example, but sometimes, mostly out of caring, when we want to share the Truth, we do it so clumsily that we alienate those we are trying to reach the most. As Christians, we know that the Bible IS the inerrant Word of God. John 1:1 tells us this! We know many things that people in the world are doing are hurting them. As in golf, however, approach is everything, and can either quickly put us in the rough, or can place us on the green with how others receive the Word. If we end up making them feel more rejected, more separated from God and others, then the Right truly just went wrong.
Jesus had it right. If we love one another, as He has loved us, then we truly will be doing what he desires most of us. Above all, love is the answer. This doesn’t mean telling someone that what they are doing in their life is fine, doesn’t hurt God, and is not sinful. It does mean not making the Bible a weapon, and people the enemy. We are to share the Word, not unsheathe it. We need to rebuke the sin, and embrace the sinner. After all, we are sinners every bit as much as the next person, and if we want that same love, kindness, and forgiveness, shouldn’t we be offering that same beautiful gift to others?
It is my prayer that you all had a Merry Christmas, and will have a blessed new year in 2019!