I’m not entirely sure where to start.
I was 15 the last time I kept a steady blog.
It feels like it was a lifetime ago.
I thought I had so much figured out. I had opinions on all the details of theology. But I may have overlooked grace.
And then I met a group of kind, loving people. I’d been told these folks weren’t Christians. I’d heard all about what was wrong with them from a conservative group of Christians. There wasn’t really anything unbiblical about their lives. They just weren’t the clean-cut Christians I’d grown up with.
But I saw love. I saw Christ lived out in these lives.
Acts 4:13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
That’s what I saw. I met Peters and Johns and they had most certainly been with Jesus.
I saw older women teaching the younger women how to love God and other people. ….and then I saw those girls go on to minister to even younger women. Just like God commanded.
I saw men who prayed and brought cares and concerns before the Lord.
I heard crazy testimonies from people who would never have come in amongst the judgment of the old way. But love … love touched hard hearts and healed broken people. I saw crazy transformations. It wasn’t a 12-step program or years of therapy that changed these lives. It was the love of Jesus and His people.
There aren’t as many Christians who have it all together in my life anymore. But I don’t see as many lukewarm Christians either. I see a man weeping over his sin. I see a woman pleading with a younger generation not to make the mistakes she did. I see honesty. Transparency. Love.
Theology is important. God communicated to us for a reason! What we know should change our lives though. Sometimes we get bogged down in all the details. We should seek the Lord who saved us, share His grace with others, and be His hands and feet. Just maybe, that’s more important than debating who was the “I” of Romans 7.
1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples by the love which we have for one another. Not by the arguments we make as we judge the least, the last, and the lost.
I’ve started half a dozen posts in the last two days. I’m trying to figure out where to start. But wherever I start, I seem to end up back at this point. We, as the church, need to love people. We don’t compromise truth; to tell someone they’re right with God when they’re headed to hell would be cruel. But we speak the truth in love. Let our speech be seasoned with grace. Show the love of Jesus. A love that gave everything for the benefit of His enemies. A love that said, “neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.”
When we’ve got that down, then we can go back to arguing about the minutia. But I think I’ve got enough work to do on this first point to last me a lifetime.