“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi
When atheists blame Christians for the world’s problems, (a lot like Trump blaming Muslims or Hitler blaming Jews) it leads to division and fear. Finger pointing never leads to resolution, solution or unity.
We really must begin to look at ourselves, something unfortunately those who blame seem unwilling to do. I include myself in this exhortation, for I have been guilty of blaming, too. At the same time, I commit to listen to the Spirit’s guidance when He prompts me to seek the ways I have contributed to the divisiveness of groups within my reach.
I am never wholly – or holy – right. Even though I know God and hear His voice, I am not arrogant enough to be 100% certain I always speak for my Creator. When others boast of certainty, I always take this statement of pride with a few grains of salt. I hope you take mine as such too, and do your own research with other authors and, of course, in Jesus’ own words.
Look around you; take in the in-fighting and the name-calling. Is this the way we’re supposed to carry forward the Gospel? How many times did Jesus tell us to love one another? How many times did he urge us toward unity? And remember, his words came through the Father; they were not his own.
Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. (John 14:24)
The Spirit reminds me, when I’m about to judge, when I’m about to proselytize or preach, that Jesus’ words came from the Father and that I must examine the log in my own eye first. I must focus on allowing the Spirit to change my own mind and heart so I can see, hear and speak clearly, promoting unity, love and acceptance in Christ.
If I don’t reflect Jesus in my own image, how will others know Him? If I don’t emulate his words in my own, how will others begin to understand his unconditional love and compassion? If I don’t mirror his grace in my actions, how will anyone else see his invitation to mercy and forgiveness?
It is not my task, as His follower, to cast shame and guilt on the people He created. It is my task to open the possibilities of restoration, of family, of One People charged with the mission of restoration. As Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson wrote,
“There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all”*
“All people will know you are my followers if you love each other.” John 13:35
*We Are The World, ©1985 Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson
Thank you to Mel Wild at In My Father’s House for the inspiration for this post.