Beside the Well
Last year I heard President Obama being maligned for some of his statements against Christianity. When I heard the actual sound bite I understood him to be challenging Christians to stand up and be what they are supposed to be. He said we should be doing instead of just talking. We should be actively involved in solving problems. I heard a cry for proof, not condemnation. (Hanity, May 13, 2015)
Christianity is always being judged. Ghandi was dismayed saying, I’d be a Christian, if it were not for the Christians.” Red Cloud, an important leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux, explained that the Native Americans heard of this Christ and of the way of salvation. They watched to see if Christ made a real difference, but the white man still cheated and lied.
These words challenge me to think more seriously about how I present Christ in my own life. My Christianity needs to be more than my personal comfort zone. Those around me need to see Him shine in a way that will draw, not repel. I am eternally accountable for how I live my life. More important than that, my personal presentation of Christianity may be; rather, it potentially is, the only presentation some will see and is the determining factor in their eternal destination.
An anonymous quote pinned up on my desk reads, “Don’t look at the world discouraged at what they do, look and see what they need.” The world loves to cry out, “Don’t judge me.” But the truth is, they are already judged (John 3). Maybe, instead of coldly pointing out their sin, I would to be more of a witness by pointing out out my concern for the sins that hurts them. I ought to see them as wounded and dying instead of annoying and in my way. I could say, “I see your heart. Let me love you enough to show you a healthier option.”
Instead of just saying we are Christians, what if we purposely got involved with our community and walked wisely among them? What if we learned to bridle our passions and prejudices, turning them into loving zeal for those in need? What if we took the example of Jesus and intentionally went about doing good?
As we inaugurate a new president this week we are best to remember that America is not one man. The difference he can make is small compared to the impact made by those of us who will turn hate to love and shoulder the responsibility to bear burdens and walk the extra mile.