I am a Christian. That may mean nothing to you. To me it means everything. I am a Christian in the sense that it truly defines me. It defines me as much as the fact that I am Stacy. A female who was born to Max and Mary. A sister to Tony and Jason. A wife to Matt. A mom to Luke and Oliver. It is who I am and there is nothing in this world that can strip me away from who I am.
I understand how others view some Christians. Sometimes it is hard to live out the faith I feel because I fear rejection from others. I love people and I love when people like me. It will always be a struggle. I like peace and I love to connect with people. When someone I am close to (or was close to) starts attacking my faith, my very truth, sometimes I hide and other times I get angry and defensive. I am human.
Human. That about hits (actually slams) the nail on the head. I think most misunderstandings about Christians stem from the fact people forget we are human as well. You cannot separate the two. Humans are sinners whether they believe in God or not. Believers and non-believers are more alike than some Christians want to admit. That is where Christians need to change if they want others to see and feel their truth. Part of loving your neighbor as yourself has to start with seeing our common bonds. What separates us is not our lifestyle, our political beliefs, our morals, and definitely not our deeds. What separates us is our faith in Christ. It is in our knowing Jesus died on the cross for our sins of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
A few months back, I got a little down. I felt as though being a Christian nowadays was not as easy as it was before. So much has changed, even in the last few years. We are faced with issues we never had to unless it was an issue someone close was dealing with. You know, unless we were forced to. We could easily live our lives in our own little naive bubbles. Not anymore.
It has taken this last few months of praying, reading the Bible, and listening to differing opinions (which I love to do) to see what a great time it is to be a Christian. I was feeling fear over all the separation in our nation and between our brothers and sisters in Christ. Now all I feel is inspired. We are being forced out of our bubbles. We are being forced out of our church as a whole, out of our denominations, out of our individual churches. Everything is out in the air and our church doors cannot remain shut to them any longer.
I think we all got too comfortable. We all got too settled in our traditions, in our “style” of worship. Why should we even care about the style of worship. You know what I mean? We stopped seeing and listening to each other. We got too busy counting the number of members and remembering who missed one Sunday morning that we stopped loving our neighbors-the ones sitting next to us in church and the ones who have never walked through the doors of our church. I think that has resulted in people permanently leaving the church and people choosing to never enter. Sad.
Like I said, we are being forced to face all of the issues we have ignored in the past. It is a good thing. Now we have a great opportunity. No, it is better than great. It is tremendous opportunity and really a responsibility (as well) to show the world what it really means to be a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N…and what it means to have C-H-R-I-S-T in our H-E-A-R-T’S. We need to be the light of the world, not just the light in our bubbles.
Exciting, isn’t it?