“People may hate us because of Jesus. but they should never hate Jesus because of us.”
Sometimes, people suck. Honestly. We all do. And some days, it’s extremely hard to walk into a room and say ‘Hi, this is me. Take it or leave it.’ Because unfortunately, a lot of people will choose to leave it. And as humans with hearts that were made breakable - we have to remember that the people who leave are people with their own insecurities, too. That the people who leave, are still people who need love and acceptance, too.
I don’t know why us humans are the way that we are sometimes. We can be so cruel. And we can be so selfish. And we can be so big-headed with eyes only for our own well being. Even people who shout to the rooftops of how important church is to them, I know.
And this is a girl who has seen it and is apologizing for that.
I get it. Not everyone is going to stand tall behind this Jesus guy we all talk about. And like that quote, some people may hate us because of Jesus. And that’s totally fine. But they should never hate Jesus because of us. There’s a lot of people reading this who probably feel some type of way about Christianity because of a way they saw someone act who proclaimed to be a Christian. Whether that be someone saying one thing and living out another, whether that be someone living in a religious bubble or someone living a little too freely (if ya know what I mean). Regardless, nobody should ever hate Jesus because of us. And if that is the case, I am so sorry.
I’m sorry for the person who cursed you out but then posted about worship on their Instagram story the same day.
I’m sorry for the person who invited everyone to the party except for you but then talked about how Jesus loves unity.
I’m sorry for the person who got black out drunk with you but then was greeting at church the next morning.
I’m sorry for the person who talked about you behind your back but was preaching a message the next week.
I’m sorry for the person who told you Jesus was mad at you for that one mistake.
I’m sorry for the person who abused you but said it was okay because Jesus would forgive them.
I’m sorry for the person who said you have to be perfect for someone to love you.
I’m sorry for the person who represented Jesus so poorly to you.
Now, before somebody gets offended hear me out. for the people who have acted out of emotion and got back up, that’s different. There is grace for that because we’re all human. I sure as heck have had my fair share of making stupid decisions and acting out of spite that ultimately hurt other people. I’ve had my fair share of running in circles and repeating cycles.
But, I’m talking about when we use Jesus as a cop out to our own actions. When we continue living however we want to but justify it because, “Jesus forgives.” What we so quickly look over is that whether we like it or not, people ARE watching us. and people ARE watching how we act, how we react, and how we respond. There is a weight that comes with proclaiming that we are disciple of Christ.
If no one has ever told you, let me tell you that it matters when you’re in bed with somebody on a Saturday and show up on Sunday with absolutely no remorse. It does matter. It maters when you’re rude to that waitress or waiter but then you’re sweet as can be when someone important is around. It does matter. It matters when you judge people for how they’re living but then you’re living the exact same way behind closed doors. It does matter. It matters when you exclude the people who are known as the “outcast”. It matters when you only care about the people who can help get you somewhere. It does matter.
As Christians, and as decent human beings, but especially Christians - we need to own who we are and we need to cheer on people for who they are. That’s what Jesus did.
Big and bold.
Soft and quiet.
Awkward and clumsy.
Funny and serious.
Athletic and artistic.
Black and white.
Human and human.
When we set aside our pride and our preconceptions of being too much or not being enough, we’ll start to see the really good stuff about us AND the really good stuff about other people, too. No masks and no trying to put on things that will never fit us. Just showing up as we are being exactly that. And welcoming in people who are exactly that, too. that’s what Jesus did. He welcomed everyone and was kind to everyone. He walked out what he preached because he had the sweet understanding that there were eyes that were watching him. Wanted or not, there were always eyes.
We can get so caught up in striving to be a certain way. In striving to be different and striving to be unique. We get so obsessed in wanting to live right or so obsessed in living in our individuality that we miss the whole point. I think we will be the different we are trying to achieve when our focus shifts from trying to be different to trying to be more like Jesus.
Here’s the thing. in the end, we are not going to remember how cool that group of popular people thought we were. And in the end, Jesus is not going to look us in the eyes and applaud us for the way we conformed ourselves to fit in with them either. Likewise, He is not going to applaud us for pushing the outcasts aside in pursuit of attaining something for our own glory.
I think there comes a point in all of our lives where the Lord stops us in our tracks and shows us who we are. Because sometimes, praise God for this, it takes our world falling apart to obtain the realization that this isn't our world after all. That this isn’t about us after all.
It’s about Him. and it’s our job to love people so dang well that they’re only response is, “If this is how Jesus is… then I’m in.”