Something has been heavy on my heart and bothering me for months, if not the past two years of following Jesus intentionally.
Please think about that person who irritates you the most—a person who couldn’t be more different than who you see in yourself. The same person you wish would stub their toe, maybe an ex that you hope gets cheated on because they cheated on you. Perhaps that person who you can’t stand to be around for longer than a few minutes because their mere existence affects you. This person hurt you, and in the quiet of your heart, you feel superior to them in your life, and how you walk with Jesus. Yet, you’re not.
The homeless person on the street, the addict in full-blown addiction walking on a sidewalk, the young girl accepting less love in ways love should never exist. The day to day people we drive by and make snap judgments of because we feel as though we are better than them somehow. That because we sin differently, somehow we are superior. Our family members who “chose” a different life react differently than we would, continually making poor decisions. We aren’t better than them either.
Do you realize that sin isn’t just the ten commandments? That anger, fear, judgment, and haughtiness are sins too. That being a Christian and saying we love each other – and not actively loving them is a lie? That the mere act of talking about someone negatively because you look down on their past, the choices they have made, or the life they live – does not make you better than them; it makes you worse. It is also what gives the term “bad Christian” weight.
I’ve witnessed this personally. I’ve seen respectable god-fearing people talk poorly about others they dislike, misunderstand, and then profess their love for Jesus. And, I’m tired of it, honestly. If you love Jesus, you need to love like Jesus. Meaning you love everyone, regardless of their choices, past, needs, ANYTHING, and everything. It does not mean you condone their bad decisions or fail to counsel them in making better decisions – it just means you love them regardless. It also doesn’t say you love the ones who outwardly appear to need it more.
We all talk about how Jesus ate with sinners, yet we choose which sinners we invite to our tables. We categorize the sins that are common to our own because those are more comfortable. We are all actively sinning each day. If not out of our mouths, then in our thoughts and our hearts. Yes, even you and me.
Part of being a real Christian is not being fearful of addressing the difficult aspects of following Jesus, and this is one of them. I don’t care who you are; if you’re not upholding the most basic law of the bible – I’m encouraging you to change your heart posture.
I pray Ezekiel 36:26 over you, and I ask Father God to put a new spirit in us, remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. I pray that we forgive those who have hurt us and that we open our hearts to those who rub us a little differently. I ask that God reminds us of the goodness he planted within us and that his love is for everyone, even us, as our ugliness reveals itself. I ask that he reminds us that he strategically places people in our lives purposefully, especially those most difficult. I ask that we can embrace those individuals with the same kind of love Jesus embraces us in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“The moment you think you are better than someone else is simultaneously the same moment you no longer are.” – Jessica Griffiths