All wrong reasons.

February 8, 2007 at 7:57 am 11 comments

I just read this question in a book and it was phrased in a way that caught me off guard enough so I had to put the book down and think about it.  Mind if I just think out loud a little? 

Here is the question: “Does the love I have for God’s people look like the love Jesus has for me?” 

Good question, right? My first thought was “depends on who among God’s people we are talking about.”  My second thought was “of course not”.

I have a friend with whom I dialogue on-line.  We have never met but we are friends and I like him and he likes me.  We share some things in common one of which is an affinity for writing.  He wrote not long ago to say “…we both grew up in Christian homes…but over time we both became disenchanted with people who were supposed to be leading us and peers that were supposed to be examples to us, too much hypocrisy, to much intolerance of others…” In other words he opted out of church because the love God’s people had for him did not look like the love Jesus had for him.

Some of you are probably asking, “did my friend love God’s people like Jesus loved him?”  I am pretty sure he would say he didn’t to the extent he should have, but I also think that he would say that he has found it a lot easier to love people like Jesus did, outside of the church then in it and that is what he is about.  I am quickly coming to the realization that my friend is right.  I have had some serious disappointments with the church myself, lately.  I have also had some serious disappointment with myself lately.

I do not want to love some of God’s people.  There are some you don’t want to love either.  The reasons I don’t want to love God’s people are good reasons and they are real reasons and they are reasons that hurt and they are really frustrating reasons and they are all wrong reasons.

It never has stopped being true that they will know we are Christians if we love each other. 

It never has stopped being true that they still don’t know we are Christians.

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Culture, Faith, Jesus, Thoughts.

What makes us sad or glad? Why I went last night.

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BS  |  February 11, 2007 at 8:47 am

    let’s break it down …
    1st commandment – LOVE GOD with all that we are/have
    2nd commandment – LOVE OTHERS as ourselves
    isn’t it interesting that we spend most of our time focusing on what others are doing instead of focusing on ourselves and what the right thing for US to do/live/act/think is? i find myself doing this exact thing but i then give others advice that they must first deal with themselves and their own relationship with GOD and how they love others and then do what is humanly possible to not worry about what others are doing [as they have their own relationship with GOD and will be judged by HIM accordingly]. i think maybe i should follow my own advice and just start loving … because that is what i would want. i guess at the core of who i am, i really do believe that LOVE WINS and should probably start living like it.

  • 2. Ron Marrs  |  February 11, 2007 at 7:12 am

    God has been teaching me that forgiveness is a gift that we give to others because God has given that gift to us. (Luke 7:36-50; Col. 2:13,14; Eph 4;31,32). We live in a fallen world. We will be disappointed. But as others have noted above, it is incumbent upon us to love no matter what others do. That is not easy for me. I am often engaged in disagreements between Christians. What I think is the right was to do things is not always done. My hope is in Christ, not in others. I still get disappointed, however, and have to guard against pessimism.

  • 3. Brandon  |  February 10, 2007 at 10:29 am

    offering grace brings to light the need that I have for it, and it is a struggle for me to feel that I am like some of the people that need grace. My pride does not want to admit that I am as broken, and that God sees me with the same love and desire as them. So once I offer grace I have no more excuses to reject and separate my self.

  • 4. Unknown  |  February 9, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Understanding the disappointment in a church and the judgement they throw at you. I never got support from the church for talking with you and I could care less. It was probably the best thing I have ever done and thank you for allowing me to do so. Forgiveness works wonders doesn’t it.

  • 5. Doug Wright  |  February 9, 2007 at 6:30 am

    I heard a line last night in a movie. “I don’t trust happy.” Forgiveness is one of the first steps to healing and defintely happiness. To bask in the past is to deny that God is in and aware of all things. I have to pray a blessing for those who hurt me in order to feel like forgiving. Doesn’t always work right away but if I stay consistent, it helps. The older we are the more people we also have hurt and as Traci said, merci given and received.

  • 6. renversgirl  |  February 8, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    it sounds like you have struck a chord with many people. you have with me. i struggle a lot with the church i am in. there are many things good about it but a few small(sometimes not so)things that irk me. the main one is forgiveness. the reasons i have been given for the lack thereof in certain matters have there points but still ring hollow. most of the time i end up just thinking maybe if i reach out a little more myself, or i tell myself it is the only boat afloat, and am content until invariably a topic is raised i state an opinion or ask a question and get that blanket answer. sometimes i sit back and wonder amazed that He puts up with our “answers” and excuses. but as Tracy said maybe just sayin(writing) it is a step in the right direction.

  • 7. Mimi  |  February 8, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    I was kind of thinking along the same lines this morning altho more about how we want mercy from God and justice for others which must make God awfully sad and which does, indeed, turn the world away from our Father. Don’t we want others to know our Father like we do? I should think we do. Then we should act like it.

  • 8. TraciA  |  February 8, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for that Dad! I am really struggling with this at the moment as my dissapointment in people (of the church) grows (as I am sure you know), but I am convicted by your words. Especially since I know that you are struggling as well. Thank you for painting it clearly for me. I want to be more like Christ and if Christ offers more love than justice and more grace and forgiveness than pointing of fingers…. I need to as well. Like mom said and I am sure I have heard you mention it before. Mercy is better than justice, to give as well as receive. I want mercy when I stand before the Father and others… therefore to be like Him I must offer mercy as well. Maybe just saying this aloud(in writing) is a first step, huh?

  • 9. KC  |  February 8, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I have some new found inspiration in this area to share on this topic. Simply put, “God loves His church and calls us to be a part of his body in Christ.” I too have been frustrated “disappointed” in what you find in the Church, but I better understand today that this IS being part of the Church or a “Church.” God does “love” all of the people in His church, but he certainly gets disappointed. To think that its not okay to be or feel disappointed in someone or something, I believe, would reflect a misunderstanding of who God is and the God you find in the Bible.

    We are called to live like Christ, but God understands that we aren’t going to be perfect and issues us grace and forgiveness. Grace to be who we are on our way to living according to His expectations. Forgiveness, for when we fall down along that way. It is “grace” which makes our God great, greater than you or I, because He continues to love despite His “disappointment.” Something that is extremely difficult for us mere mortals. Just as Maggie suggested, “to forgive and forget,” is not really our cup of tea, but we are called to the Church as the body of Christ to learn how to live with those that might create the most discomfort, the most frustration and the most disappointment. The ability to forgive those Christians, is to draw nearer to who God is and who we are called to be.

  • 10. Maggie  |  February 8, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Hi Greg,
    Love reading your daily words. Actually I had the same response as, whip. Wow!

    This brings me to the phrase : Forgive and forget. Then, that is easier said than done. I believe this is a daily struggle for some of us. We need to keep working daily on moving on and not letting those hurts destroy who we are. There is only ONE we need to concentrate on to help us through all of this. Our Father, who listens to our hearts, thoughts, and knows our minds. Let us all pray for each other and the people who hurt us by there actions, or inactions. Some people know who we are. I believe that is how it will be until the end.

    Since I retired I have stayed home most of the time. I have not had to deal with too many people. I have more time to think about where I go and who I will be seeing. In a way i get lonely, but then I see the people I know who will enspire me and who cares about who I am and what I think. Handling others who are not as thoughtful and caring is not as cumbersome. I am able to feel free of what they think and do to me. I still feel the hurts they inflict and pray that our Father helps me through it all.

  • 11. whiph  |  February 8, 2007 at 8:15 am

    WOW!

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