Saturday, February 19, 2011

Christian Frustrations.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on and loving-kindness for us, for we are exceedingly satiated with contempt. Our life is exceedingly filled with the scorning and scoffing of those who are at ease and with the contempt of the proud (irresponsible tyrants who disregard God's law). Psalm 123:3-4 (Amplified Bible)

Sometimes living the Christian life can be frustrating. There are many days I am frustrated with the assumptions put on me by disagreeable people. In today’s secular world followers of Christ are often misunderstood and labeled as the “religious right”, politically ultra conservative, hateful and judgmental, and legalistic. These labels are frustrating and annoying not only because they are false, but because they come from a place lacking of any biblical knowledge or understanding. This usually triggers an urgent need to educate the uneducated on Christ and His message. I want to shout to the whole world that the total sum of Christ’s message and that of the entire Bible is one of Love. Love can sum up the entirety of the Christian faith.

One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:35-40 NLT

Some argumentative dissenters would counter that disagreeing with certain “civil rights” doesn’t come from a place of love, and churches and Christian organizations today are against gay marriage and abortion. I recently stated in one such debate that being against gay marriage doesn’t equate to being anti-gay. I was told however that there was no difference between the two. However, as Christians, we are called to love everyone, regardless of what their actions or ideologies may be. Much like parents who love their children even when they are misbehaving; though these same parents do not love what their children do. We can love without condoning. It is not easy but the Holy Spirit grants us mighty abilities in love.

The answer to the ills of society is not found in protesting, campaigning, or politics. Surely, this is where we became misunderstood in the first place. The answer isn’t always being the voice of dissention amongst the masses, but to rest in God. We are to use the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to know when something is wrong and to intercede on the sinners’ behalf and to continue to love. It is not always my place to “teach” a lesson. Many times when we try to school sinners in the right path, we ourselves get bogged down with criticism and judgement, something we need to guard ourselves against. If we are to testify for truth we must let our lives speak for us. A Godly life filled with love surely has the power to lead others to the truth.

“Take to God the things that perturb your spirit. You notice that certain people are not going on spiritually and you begin to feel perturbed; if the discernment turns you to intercession, it is good; but if it turns to criticism it blocks your way to God.” Oswald Chambers.

Today’s world is full of distractions, debates, and the breaking down of humanity. Our challenge as Christians isn’t to prop ourselves up on our evangelical soapboxes but to always follow Jesus’ call of Love. To love God with all that we are, and to love all people as we love ourselves. If every Christian ambition comes from a place of love and surrender to Christ we can’t go wrong and we certainly won’t be plagued with the frustration of today’s labels. After all, I am not near enough to emulating Christ’s personality as I need to be. I can always better myself and seek a closer connection to God, but I can’t do that if I’m expending all my energy trying to fix others’ failed ideologies.