I was feeling a bit nostalgic today walking down the road of memories which Facebook daily provides. It was fun thinking back to the tiring days of loving two in diapers while balancing pastoral work.
Then nostalgia got real. I decided to see if I could find my old Myspace account. Fortunately for the world, my Myspace data is lost to me and hopefully to the world.
I really don’t like the person I was when Myspace was around. My idea of evangelism was trying to argue others into the kingdom of God. I would see a friend who espoused ideas that I disagreed with and then set off on a tirade of posts to try to out scream their supposed foolishness.
What I didn’t realize is that I was entering into my own version of foolishness. If other’s souls were dependent on my “evangelism,” I probably argued them away from the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
This morning I was reading “The Storm Tossed Family” by Russell Moore. In the chapter on family discord he states, “Sometimes what it may take for a child to see the cross in the lives of his parents is to hear the parents say, ‘No matter what you do. No matter where you go. You will always be our child, and we will always be glad to say so. We may not like what you are doing, but we are not ashamed of you.’”
How often have we placed barriers in front of others before showing them the love of Jesus?
We will rail against their sins, and then wonder why they don’t want to hear about the gospel.
Truthfully Facebook is no different than Myspace. We Christians spend all our time mocking others’ politics, making coarse jokes about politicians, forwarding guilt driven Christian sensationalism, and then wonder why we can’t have a civil conversation about anything.
We have poisoned our own ability to share the grace and mercy of Christ with others.
No, I don’t think we should ignore sin, but I also believe the Holy Spirit does a much better job of convicting and transforming the heart than we do.
Can you imagine what would happen if we as Christians loved people who hated us? What would happen in our culture war if we chose to turn the other cheek? What would happen if we had dinner with gay and lesbian friends, not to trash them, but instead to love them? What would happen if we threw baby showers for the teen who had an unexpected pregnancy?
Last week I sat with a friend who is struggling with a major drug addiction and told him, “I love you, God loves you, and God is ready to forgive you.” My friend trusted Christ and experienced forgiveness.
Today I’m not asking you to dumb down what you believe. I am asking for you to believe in the life changing gospel enough to love broken people. This kind of love is messy. This kind of love will leave you shell shocked and broken. This kind of love will lead to the transformation of lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.