Dear Christian Friend,
It seems like every time I turn around I see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I see them on magazine covers and all kinds of social media. The whole world is paying attention to what the royal family is doing. Why do you think that is? Well, quite frankly, it’s because their blood line is, well, (I hate to be redundant here but…) royal. They are set apart from the basic commoners and held to a higher standard. People have fantastic expectations of how they should dress, how they should conduct themselves and the company they should carry. It’s really quite impressive that the family can keep it all together and stay out of the headlines for some scandalous behavior unbecoming of the royal family.
I can’t help but think how much Christians and the royal family have in common. Just like the whole world is watching England’s royal family, the whole world is also watching you my Christian friend. When we wear our Christ-loving propaganda/flaunt our cell-phone cover crosses/drive our vans with bumper stickers professing our love for Jesus/update our face book status with scriptural quotes, when we do any of that, the world is watching. They want to see how you, a member of the one true King’s royal family, is going to act. And oh! What expectations the world has of us!! The world has a beautiful vision of how we should look, how we should act and how we should respond to situations. The world desires to see something different in us, something not-so-common. Supernatural behavior, if you will. We are, after all, covered by royal blood and a direct heir to Heaven and all it’s treasures! The world, especially those that are not saved yet, wants to know what all the fuss is about. If God changes you from the inside out then surely they should see something different from you, child of God! We’ve got a great responsibility Christian friend; the world is looking to us for an example. Are we showing them behavior worthy of that old rugged cross or are we turning them away?
If we are being honest, friend, I’m troubled by what I’ve seen of you lately. There are a lot of troubling events taking place in our lifetime, right in this very day. I know that full well. I’m troubled by it all, too. But what troubles me deeply is the way I see you responding. I see you lash out on social media. I see you argue and bicker with our non-saved friends. I see you resort to hateful one-liners and ugly re-posts on hot button topics. I know you feel passionately about what’s going on because I feel passionately, too. But let me tell you this. You are not winning the hearts and minds of others on social media when you engage in arguments that are fueled by feelings and masked by a screen. You are only working to further DIVIDE us as a body of Christ. Share your feelings! I know you have studied the bible and are informed, full of God’s love but let me ask this of you: share them face to face while you are working the harvest so that others can see the love and expression you have when you talk about our king! Win their hearts and minds not by challenging their deeply held convictions, igniting anger and confrontation but by showing them what true, unadulterated love looks and feels like in the flesh! Let them see God in you!!
I see you Christian friend. I see you when you are ordering your coffee and the tattooed, pierced barista is waiting on you. She sees you too and she wonders why you are looking at her in secretive judgment. She takes one look at your WWJD bracelet and makes up her mind that if Jesus acts that way, she doesn’t want any part. The woman sitting beside you at the beauty shop that’s just had an abortion sees you too. She hears every last ugly word you said while you railed against the filthy, horrible women who vote pro-abortion. She heard you say those terrible things while wearing your “I am a child of God” shirt and she furthered her resolve to never follow Christ. The Muslim teenage boy sitting two rows back from you on the plane saw you when you boarded. He picked you out right away because he is thinking of giving his life to Christ and he saw your necklace that had a scripture written on it. He is watching you in hopeful anticipation that he may see this Christ that he has been reading about in you. His heart sank when he heard you make inappropriate and racist jokes about terrorists on the plane.
I’m not judging you, friend. Truly I am not. I have a burden for you…for me…for all of us. I know things are messed up and that our world is in need of Christ. We are living in times that are unprecedented and frightening. I get where you are coming from when you make your social media posts because I have done it too. But I think as Christians, we are missing the point. I revisited the book of John tonight and was reminded exactly how Jesus wants us to behave. Before Jesus died on the cross, for our sins no less, he washed his disciples feet. Even more than that, he placed his garments around his waist like a lowly servant to wash their feet. He knew that one would betray him, one would disown him and that they would all abandon him out of fear and he loved them anyway. If fact, scripture says: “Having loved his own who were in this world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1. Even after they disowned, betrayed and left him he loved them to the end. Are we loving people like that, Christian friend? Shortly after that verse Jesus tells his disciples this: “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34 Jesus charges us to love each other like he loves us. He loved his disciples even though they were not deserving of his love to the end. He loves us even though we are flawed and undeserving. That woman in the beauty shop that has just had an abortion doesn’t need to hear your political views, she needs to feel and hear the love of Jesus!! She is flawed and made a horrible mistake, yes! But so are you my dear Christian friend! She needs to hear that there is a Jesus who loves! She needs to see the love of Jesus in you!! The harvest is ready, friend! Are you working it like you should?
I’ll leave you with this final word from Jesus. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14: 21
Show yourself to me, oh Lord.
With Christ’s Love,
Your flawed but forgiven friend