Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What if...

Nicky is a news junkie. I, on the other hand, could never watch it again and be perfectly content. So negative, so judgmental, so one-sided. But the thing that has grabbed my attention the most lately is all the news about same-sex marriage. And it has my heart heavy...

I am a Christian. I have my own convictions about same-sex marriage. But most importantly I have my own convictions about God's greatest commandment: love.

What if we stopped for a moment and really thought about what we were doing. When we throw up our "religious beliefs" we throw up a barrier that immediately stops any sort of productive, loving conversation. And more importantly, we point people to our judgmental hearts and we stop pointing people to the merciful and graceful heart of Jesus. I mean, isn't that the point of this life? Jesus is the easy one to fall in love with...not His Christians. We get it wrong way too often.

When we spend our time, effort, and energy fighting against all that we believe to be wrong, we don't have anything left for what is so right...the love of Christ. How would we feel if someone called out our sins and decided to make it a national political issue? I'm a liar, a gossip, selfish...I've had my fair share of struggles and challenges. AND I STILL GET IT WRONG EVERY DAY. But I thank my God that I don't have religious extremists picketing in my front yard telling me that I'm going to hell because I'm a sinner. I don't know about you, but THAT would sure win me over for Jesus! (Please note sarcasm.)

What if we stopped focusing on what everyone else is doing "wrong" and we spent time in prayer simply asking Jesus to give us hearts that are pleasing to Him...hearts that love others outside our comfort zone...hearts that point people toward the hope, love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that Christ so amazingly offers. I mean, how do you not fall in love with that?

2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus doesn't throw stones, so why in the world should we?