Alrighty, I’m officially the sappiest person ever. There’s just something about Jesus that can literally make my heart & soul feel like it could burst. Jesus has this way of bringing me to my knees with tears of gratitude & sometimes it’s over the smallest, simplest of things. For instance, I was sitting at the airport in Boston, listening to Bon Iver’s song, “Skinny Love.”  Then, this verse plays, “Cut out all the ropes and let me fall, my my my my…. Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?” This is not considered to be a “Christian song” perse, but it just reminded me how much God fights for each of us. How many times he’s tried to gently nudge me and I just ignored him. Yet, he always stayed faithful and most importantly he never let me fall far behind. Never have I experienced anything, even remotely close to this unconditional love he has for me– for each of us. Jeremy Riddle says it best, “You draw me gently to my knees, and I am Lost for words, so lost in love, I’m sweetly broken… wholly surrendered.” Gahhh, here I go getting all teary-eyed again.

God has really blessed me over the past few weeks & I’m incredibly thankful for this. I’ve had so many crazy experiences that honestly I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around them, in order to share with y’all right now. He’s put so much joy back into my heart that’s been consumed by anxiety, worrying and stress.  However, as thankful as I am, it scares me when the Lord gives me this feeling of overwhelming joy. I know just as that “happy” emotion comes, it can also go. And in 5-4-3-2-1… boom, he’s humbling me and I’m knocked on my bum, bum. I guess he needs to do stuff like that with me. I’m so stubborn and hard-headed & I really need that constant reality check that I’m NOT in control. 

This is what God has really been putting on my heart lately:

I’ve been really trying to focus on truly seeing all of life, through God’s eyes & through his image. I know this is something that many Christians often say. So many times the term, “worldview” is loosely thrown around, as some slogan that we say to make it sound like we know what we’re talking about. (So stinkin’ guilty of this) But, it’s not a slogan and it’s not something to take lightly. Jesus came as a radical to turn this world upside down. He came to change the cultures perception of Christianity, which is what we are called to do.  We are called to love like Jesus, disciple like Jesus, think like Jesus and listen like Jesus. Yes, listen like Jesus, which means to truly care about what God says and how others’ feel, regardless of their faith, gender, education level, socioeconomic status, or sexuality. The world should view Christians as a gentle, loving, serving heart. Jesus did not have this “skinny love” that he gave to certain people who believed only what he did. He just simply, loved.

To have a gentle loving heart means to show passion and patience with discipleship and faith formation– ESPECIALLY when presenting the Gospel. Discipleship takes time, it takes showing unconditional love… and certainly lots and lots of patience. That is how you build transparent, real relationships. I’m not talking about just building relationships in our direct Christian community. But to building relationships with people who don’t share our same viewpoints & showing respect for their “worldview.”

Okay so here’s my honest question; Why do we all have this little issue with the word, Transparency?  Why do we always have to present ourselves like we are neat and clean? Like we’re all not a mess inside? How do we expect to build real, meaningful relationships that allow us to disciple if Christians try to portray themselves as perfect? We ALL have this little thing called, sin eating away at our lives.  Let’s just get used to that fact… Cause I’ll admit it, I’m a hot mess.

Christians are responsible & accountable for their actions, attitudes and behaviors. So often we are to blame for pushing others away from the faith by misrepresenting what it actually means to walk with Jesus. I’m not saying I’m exempt from this, because I can think of a number of instances where my behavior, certainly did not shadow Jesus’ behaviors. But in saying that if we do not deal with this, if we do not acknowledge our part of the problem, we will fail to connect with the new generation. We have to recognize that we as Christians, are in fact the ones misrepresenting a holy, fair and loving God. Jim White wrote, “Simply put, we must stop presenting ourselves as the message. There will be disappointment with Christians as long as there are imperfect people. Since all Christians are imperfect, there will always be disappointment. So we must stop having the message of Christ tied to our butchered efforts.”

It’s time for us to authentically convey to the world that Christians are not perfect, we are NOT always right, we sin & we stumble, daily. It’s time to let others know the real, true, loving actions of Jesus. Lately I’ve really been questioning my behaviors and my motives. Does my life reflect the fruit of the spirit? Am I conveying what it means to truly be a Christian? I believe everyone spends eternity somewhere. Conveying this in an effective, loving manner shouldn’t just be a on a to-do list that you get around to one of these days. It’s a priority that needs to be made a necessity & acted upon immediately.

Galatians 5: 22-23… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.