Ignorant. Intolerant. Hypocrites. Excellent bakers.
We get called lots of names, people.
It’s time to talk.
People don’t generally like Christians. But why? Sometimes, it’s just their perception of who we are, but I think, in many cases, it’s because we aren’t doing it right. After much thought, I have compiled a list of 8 things we can do to keep Christians from earning (yes, in some cases we’ve earned it!) a bad rap. Or bad rep? Doesn’t that make more sense? Who knows.
Here are my thoughts.
1. Stop singling out gay people as being “worse” than anyone else. We all have sin. Every single one of us. Each person’s sin is only overcome by trusting in Jesus. Love EVERYONE like Jesus does and maybe some people will love Him back.
2. Scrape off the “In case of the rapture, this car will be unmanned” sticker. Or blow up the car. Whatever’s quicker.
3. Don’t go up to complete strangers at the Bethlehem Walk in Goochland (or anywhere) and tell them that their church is dead if they don’t speak in tongues. Weird and creepy. Creepy and weird. Different churches tend to emphasize different things, but salvation through Christ, sanctification (becoming more like Jesus and less ratchet), loving others and sharing the
Gospel are the biggies. Don’t try to conform other believers to your version of Christianity. United we stand, divided we look contentious and prideful.
4. Be friends with people who are different than you.If you are racist, you need to get down on your knees and repent. Not Biblical. If you slander specific people groups, realize you are making a blanket statement and all cultures are made up of vastly different individuals, just as yours is. Ask questions and learn their stories. Try their food. Dance to their music. Earn the right to share your faith. Don’t bash theirs. Be above prejudice. We are ALL precious in his sight.
5. Take a genuine interest in the people around you. As a waitress, I meet about three million people a week. So do my co-workers, who aren’t Christians. Let me tell you, if you come straight from church, treat your server like crap and then tip 10%, DO NOT leave them a “How to Get to Heaven” tract. Who would want to go to a heaven filled with people like you? The people who look me in the eye, take the time to learn my name, and treat me like I’m valuable: that’s where I see Jesus. Jesus is so loving and personal. Be like that.
6. Make sure you are trying to squash sin in your own life before you tell people how much Jesus has changed you. Those who love him obey him. Don’t be a hypocrite. If you are posting Phillipians 4:13 on Facebook and then posting something an hour later containing the “F” word no less than 13 times, maybe you need to think about what you actually believe. Just saying.
7. Speaking of Facebook, please stop posting “If you love Jesus, repost this and type AMEN” or “I’m not ashamed of Jesus” and expecting your bank account to magically be full. It’s straight up ignorant and makes Jesus look like your personal fairy God-Father. It’s completely unbiblical and maybe you just need to get a job. Stop making Jesus look like a joke.
8. Remember that people are not the enemy. God tells us there is evil at work that is unseen and spiritual. We need to fight the enemy through prayer and by not giving in to evil ourselves. We are commanded to love other people, and specifically not just the ones who are easy to love. We have to love jerks and people who make us uncomfortable. It is what it is.
We are so quick to cry when people say hurtful things about us, yet we hurt people every day when we aren’t accurately representing Christ. We throw dirt over the beauty of the Gospel and expect people to see how amazing it is. Let’s see if we can clean it up.
Today is a new day.
Photo Credit: http://www.electricfairground.com