my thoughts on messy things.

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 12.40.10 PMIn the last few years, I’ve learned that people will always let me down, always. Real Relationships are hard, messy and at some point the other person will hurt me.

I used to think “if they hurt me, their loss” and move on.

But, the reality of that–it gets pretty lonely. Again, EVERYONE you are in REAL relationships with will hurt you at some point.
and the truth is, at some point, I too will hurt them.

So what’s my other option? Forgive so that I may also receive forgiveness. It’s really that easy, and that hard.

Gal 6:1 says, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.” (MSG)

I’ve expected perfection from others while being substantially less than perfect.

I’m thankful for grace. I’m thankful that others showed me grace when I had none. I’m learning that offering grace isn’t just about forgiving so that I can have forgiveness–but that Christ can use my forgiving spirit to heal my own heart and to keep it soft-and alive.

I’ve chosen the lonely isolated road. And it hurt, and there was no repair.
Now, I’m choosing the vulnerable real messy road. And it hurts (and it’s sometimes awkward), but there is healing beyond what I’ve ever imagined. I’m watching other people grow, develop and change because I am staying for the messy when common sense says “leave”.

There is a gentle breeze of magical Christ movement in my midst-and I’m sad I missed out on it for so long.

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My First Amendment Right…..still submits to Jesus.

I am  pissed angry, and tired.

I’m tired of political posts that are used for “making a point”. You know the one that calls people who have an abortion a “murderer”, the ones that proclaim that people living off of welfare as “leeches”, homo-sexuals as the root cause of all America’s problems. I can keep going…

You know exactly what I’m talking about…

I may agree with some of the political stances behind some of these posts, I may disagree blatantly, but if you’ve somehow thrown a few stones at any person in the process…you’ve lost me.

Here’s why: Jesus said,

Matthew 25: 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Jesus came for those people too.

Sometimes I think we think that our first amendment right means we get to say whatever we want-regardless of the consequences, another blogger this week said, “Again, the First Amendment protects our freedom of speech; it does not protect us from the consequences of the things we say.”

Let me remind you that while we have the “right” to say, whatever we want, we cannot forget that our political bullying posts may in fact be hurting someone. More importantly, it may be damaging the witness we have for Jesus.

Making a political stand, will never be the right thing if we do it in the wrong way.

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.38.05 PMWhat if you knew that your words like an ice pick dig into the wound of a woman who made a choice she regrets everyday. A woman who grieves the child she willingly allowed to be removed from her body. When she sees posts calling her a “murderer” she is reminded of that day and she feels unwanted by a community that is supposed to be the people of the great physician. What she needs is grace, healing grace. 

What if you realized that your degrading words infiltrated a single parent working 3 part time jobs. Who was trying with all their might to make a living, while still stuck in a financial rut. And wants to walk right out the front door of the church. Because they feel unwelcome. We forget that living on a minimum wage job and supporting a family isn’t always possible. We forget that sometimes (especially in an economy like ours) that jobs are hard to find for the educated-let alone those relying on a highschool diploma. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a government agency, you notice right away the whole system is meant to demoralize and make you feel like a leech, unwelcome, and unwanted. We forget that the church isn’t often a place that is welcoming for the poor, but it should be. And hearing people of God, saying as much just pushes them further from the pews. What they need is grace, redeeming grace. 

We may be finding that the gay community genuinely believes that God hates them. And why wouldn’t they? It’s plastered on your facebook wall. What they need is grace, reconciling grace. 

I know that these situations are simple, and they are not always true, but they are conversations I’ve had recently with people who have been hurt. These are my friends. These are your neighbors. These are people you may not expect.

In James 2: 5-13, it says, ” Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms? You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.”

But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.”

If you use your first amendment right, use it carefully. Be above reproach. Use mercy when posting. Use endless amounts of grace with your speech. Jesus didn’t use words to condemn, he used service to win hearts.

If you call yourself a Christian and claim to follow Jesus and He wouldn’t have said it….then please don’t either. You’re first amendment right…still submits to Jesus. Try it his way.

What are your thoughts? How do we engage in open dialogue without being offensive? Have you had similar experiences with social media?

Other blogs you may be interested in:

Favorite Most Bestest Mom    Grandpas Without Homes   Obama Won, Romney Lost: Now what?