It is amazing to me how the conversations start. No matter what the topic, I often find myself bringing in references to God, Jesus, and the Bible because that’s who I am as a person. My frame of reference for success has two main parts: me before a deep relationship with Jesus and during, so if you hang around me for long His name is bound to surface.
And please understand upfront, I don’t seek opportunities to mention God; they just happen and I’m not about to shrink from them. Regardless of your faith, I would expect the same from you.
On this very blog I have regular readers who are atheists, Muslims, Jews, and more. I hope it is because of the respect I show for people that they feel comfortable being here. My goal has never been to water down what I believe to make people comfortable, but to present life as I see it and live it so that they can be more of who they are. If you want the life advice, you get the full package of how I live.
That approach is responsible for a comment I received on a post that reminded me why I feel so strongly about being my complete self in these posts. A reader commented:
“Even as someone who has left the Christian path behind, I still find uber-value in the positive works and words from folks like you… I think, by the way, that the Christ of genuine humility is far more loving and powerful than the brittle “control-freak superiority” version of Christ that I ran away from. You provide great words of wisdom and I like that you are encouraging us to always do better, even and especially if it means superseding leadership. Thank you.”
Wow… someone who has walked away from Christianity but still finds the love and power of Jesus attractive, which really isn’t that uncommon. For centuries, people have been drawn to Jesus only to be discouraged by people. When a reporter asked Gandhi what he thought of Christianity he replied, “I like their Christ very much. It is their Christians I do not like.”
As a college student in New York, Gandhi had been turned away at the doors of a Christian church because of his heritage. Drawn by Jesus, rejected by people supposedly following Him. Our reader says the same things. “…the Christ of genuine humility is far more loving and powerful than the brittle “control-freak superiority” version of Christ that I ran away from.”
I’m sure there are countless other stories to go along with these. I have had the good fortune to work with people hurt by a church, pastor, friend, or parent in the name of Jesus, but without the mind of Jesus. My message to them is the same as I would like to give you if you have experienced any version of this misrepresentation.
You need an encounter with Jesus Himself.
He is not powerless or domineering. His message was and is one of repentance for wrong and getting into right relationship with God. The love He brought to this earth as God incarnate is the most powerful and sweetest thing ever. This is not an attempt at high theology or a way to explain the unexplainable…I can’t touch either. What you have is a level-headed invitation to meet the person I know, but has been misrepresented to you.
As crazy as this sounds, He is immediately available for consult. All you have to do is sincerely ask Him to meet you where you are. Open yourself to the experience and see what happens. That’s it! I’m not going to make an alter call or threaten to cast you into the fire if you don’t because that isn’t what I’m called to do.
I’m called to take a risk and put this out there so those far from God can find the fullness of His love in Jesus. The choice of whether or not to do it is totally yours. That’s God’s way. Yes, there are consequences for our choices, but those don’t even matter until you give yourself the chance to make a decision.
Set aside the hurts you’ve suffered from people and get to know Jesus to see if He isn’t worth your love in return. If you are someone new or returning to your faith or just someone looking to deepen your walk with the Lord, leave a comment and I’ll share my growth resources with you. It would be my pleasure.
Otherwise, know that this post is about my love for you and my willingness to take a risk and create a safe space for you to explore the most important of topics. Those are the things Jesus has done for me and it is only right that I extend the opportunity to you.
Be your best,