I can understand atheists. I mean when you look at Christians in the world today who proclaim there is a God, they don't seem any different from their non-Christian counterparts. When I look back at some of my most hurtful memories, many of them were done to me by fellow Christians. When I look at the wrongs I've seen done, many were committed by those who confessed with their mouths that they know the Son of God.
Statistically, we are no different as those who don't know Christ. The divorce rate is the same. The use of pornography is the same. The way we act at work towards our bosses is the same. The way we yell at our children is the same. Cheating, lying, gossip, selfish ambition is all the same in Christian and non-Christian circles. In the world today, there truly is nothing that delineates Christians from non-Christians.
I think about how bad we messed this one up. We were supposed to be a light. We were supposed to show something that others would want. Instead, we argue, bicker, hold resentment, act in malice and conceit, are self-righteous and act just the same as the world except we cloak it under a veil of God.
How it must truly sadden Him to see His children fight amongst themselves so much. How it must break His heart to realize the ones who know His love aren't showing it to those they encounter.
I know there are some who are truly good at showing God's love through their actions. There are some who truly act Christ-like in all that they do. I know I am not there yet, but I desire to be. I want to allow someone to slap my face and to turn and offer them the other side without grumbling constantly about the wrong they've done against me. I want to shut my mouth of judgement and gossip. I want to view people through the eyes of the one who created them and see a beautiful, glorious, and wonderful creation. Yet, I often find myself filled with bitterness, anger, and selfish desires instead.
The good news is that everyday is a day to try again to get it right. Everyday presents a new opportunity to be more Christ-like in our daily encounters so that maybe just one person will see in us something they desire and realize who it came from. It requires us to ask God to give us the chance to show His love and the strength to be His love in the face of opposition.
I've had a lot of hurts happen recently. A lot of chances for Satan to plant his seeds of anger and bitterness and resentment. I am fighting him tooth and nail to keep those seeds from being planted. God keeps reminding me that I don't have to fight it alone. I have discovered the best way to turn the thoughts I have about people from forming into a poision to my soul is to pray for them. Sounds cliche, but I have been just praying blessings on people and situations that have hurt me or those I love. I do it through gritted teeth, mind you, as it is a challenge to wish those who have done wrong to you blessings beyond their greatest imagination, but I do it none the less.
My prayer for us all as we are getting a chance to begin fresh in this New Year is that those who know the face of God will begin to act like it. My prayer is that statistically and practically Christians will be different in a positive way, that those who see us will desire to have what we have and know who we know. My prayer is that the world will finally say that there must be a God because no other way could a group of people act the way we act in times of trial, heartache, dissention, and sorrow. My prayer is that the song may finally ring true and they will know we are Christians by our love.
Here's to a new year...
Until next time,
P.S. If you are a regular blog follower, please add yourself to my "followers" list. It will make me feel important ;). Not really, I am just curious as to who actually reads this....