Gung-ho for God

So here’s the thing with God and Jesus and all of it:

You have to be all in.

You have to be all for it, all into it, and you have to be sort of an all-or-nothing on this.

This sounds strange and like something you cannot relate to, I know.  It’s peculiar, like those people on busy, bustling downtown street corners, yelling at you to repent of your sinful, movie-going ways; it sounds like this is a message coming from one of those funky-looking vans, complete with a megaphone attached to the roof, it sounds like I mean hell and fire and brimstone and the second coming.

This isn’t that.

What I’m saying is this-you’ve got to be all gung-ho about this, and lay all those cards on the table, not hold any close to your chest or up your sleeves, no matter how badly you may want to.

I’ve been studying 1 Corinthians 13 lately, and it’s good and it reflects this all-in, lay-your-cards on-the-table thought.  You know these verses, and probably by heart: it’s “those verses” that everyone usually has someone read at their wedding-“Love is patient, love is kind…”.  It’s those verses, the ones we all valiantly aspire to be on our wedding day, those verses we hope to God we all have present in our marriages and in the treatment of our spouses.  It’s those verses, the ones we also think are slightly unrealistic; those verses I personally wonder sometimes if they are even attainable, especially on the days I am mean, grouchy and tired, the days that I am anything but patient, kind and long-suffering.

So, these verses, to sum it up quickly and way too easily: love is key.  And if you have that, you have everything.  And if you don’t, you have nothing.

If you ain’t got love, you’ve got nothing.  Nothing.

You could be the most faithful person ever, the holiest of holies, have all the verses in the Bible memorized and ready to convert anyone at any time.  But if you don’t have love, none of this matters.   Even if your heart is in the right place, that you mean to help someone but don’t have love, are you truly following Christ’s example?  Or are you merely a statistician, trying to meet a quota of making sure people understand God’s love, without actually loving them first?

I would say the latter.  Not of course, because I don’t like you (I like you a lot actually, especially if you are reading and sharing this blog, hint-hint), but if you’re just spewing off things about the Bible, Christianity, how people should be or what they should do, it’s not really about the love-the love of people, the love for people, or the love of God.

I’m not saying you’re not awesome, you are; simply because of the fact that you were made by a Creator that loves you and that alone makes you worthy.

But, if you think that your role as a Christian is just trying to point the people in the right direction without loving them first, you are truly missing the point.

And might I add-you’re also missing out on a vast amount of love, life, laughter, tears and the very fullness, richness and beautifully imperfect experience of life along the way.

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Humbling thought

I’ve never met or seen an atheist who loves people, hate people like the Christians who proclaim they love God.

So often we are Christians get so caught up in who does or does not believe, who God does and does not love (hint: God loves everyone), that we go overboard and totally forget the message: Love.  Compassion.  Kindness.

It isn’t about the hate, the judgements or what categories people fit into.  It’s about that unconditional love.

If only we could remember this.

Christians love (or, at least try real hard to love)

Christians love.

Yeah, that’s right, I said it.  Christians try to love.

Oh, I know, I so know-we are also the ones with the Jesus fish on our bumper who cut you off in traffic (or, sometimes worse),  we are the ones who spout out Bible verses at you like it’s the answer to a question (a question you didn’t even ask), yep, we are the ones who will do anything and everything to show you that you need to believe in God, in Christ…we will do anything (drastic) and everything (aggressive) to show you this….

Everything, that is, except be unconditionally loving.

We have a real challenge with that, and if you have been hurt by a Christian, or Christianity in general in the past, I want to take a moment to apologize.  I’m sorry for all the hurt, the non-love we have caused.

The thing I know for sure is this: God is love.  God loves.

God loves every one of us; those who go to church and think that they are somehow better than everyone else,

those who stay at home at eat cheese puffs instead (not that I’ve ever been this person),

those who are shallow,

thin,

ugly,

mean…

All of us, and God loves all the shades of us too-our nice side, our dark side, all of it.

Even that tiny tattoo that no one need know about.

So, please let this be an invitation to you-you who are Christians, or not, or somewhere in between….come in from the cold, and let’s all be nice to each other, ahem, loving, if you will.

I’m quite certain that love is the answer to any of our problems.

You are welcome here-whoever you are, at whatever place you may be-

Liz