asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

Christians, please stop running off our sinners!

18 Comments

It’s not a secret that I love Jesus.  I also LOVE my home church in the states.  I have never been spiritually fed the way that I was while attending that church.  God surrounded me with so many wonderful people that were patient with me, listened to me, and guided me through His word in ways that made all of the chaos in my head make sense.  I am extremely blessed that God sent me to that church to be “nurtured and fed” the way that I was.  Eventually, though, I had to go out into this big world, like a Kindergartener starting school for the first time.

As I get more involved in religion and begin to understand the ins-and-outs of the “rules” of different churches, I get more and more confused.  I once read that Christianity is the only group that defines themselves by what they DON’T do.  For example, “In this religion, we don’t cut our hair or wear makeup”, “In this religion, we don’t play music or dance”, “In this religion, we don’t drink alcohol at all…not even a sip”.  I am not here to change anyone’s religion or change the rules of any church…

I do, however, hope that you stop for just for a moment and think about what this is doing for your sinners

You see, I was once so heavy in my sins (yes, plural) that all of these rules and don’ts just kept me completely away from the church.  My thought was “Who can live up to all of their standards?”

Then I met Shelia.  I worked with her.  She was a Christian but didn’t really call herself that.  She just LOVED Jesus!  Shelia had this calm, peaceful nature that caused my out-of-control, chaotically sinful self to slow down for 5 whole seconds and say…

“I want what she has!”

Shelia wore makeup…and skirts above her knee…and had the cutest little short hairstyles…and even had a glass of wine every now and then.  I wanted to be in her space whenever I got the chance.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.  I hoped that some of that peacefulness would rub off on me.  She never talked about her “religion”.  She never stated any “rules” or “don’t”.  She talked about how much she just loved Jesus and tried to love others the way that Jesus would.  She just lived her life in a way that felt extraordinarily, ordinary!

She never made this great big sinner feel that I had to live up to a set standard in order for me to be loved by her…and, most importantly, Jesus.  She talked about the bible and God’s love as easily as I discussed who got kicked off The Bachelor…

…and sometimes…sometimes…*gasp*…she even did this while enjoying a glass of wine with me…while wearing the cutest little black mini-skirt…and wearing impeccably applied makeup with a perfectly coiffed short bob, although she didn’t seem to worry about those things.

There was no pretense about Shelia.  She wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone or trying to exclude anyone from anything.  She just…was.

Since becoming a “Christian”, many times I have been disheartened with all of these rules telling me what I should not do.  I do understand that a certain amount of guidelines are necessary.

HOWEVER…

…my way of showing people God’s love or discussing salvation may not look the same as yours…

…and it shouldn’t!

If we all looked the same, spoke the same, dressed the same, etc., how does that help?

All of us sinners look differently, speak differently, and definitely dress differently!  When I was heavy in my sin, you would have judged me!  My skirt would have been shorter than you thought it should be.  I definitely dated way too many boys…and drank more than I should have…and smoked cigarettes.  You wouldn’t have had much to do with me…but I wouldn’t have anything to do with you either…

…because I couldn’t meet your standards…

…or at least that was my impression.

The point that I am making is just STOP!  Stop forcing your rules on others!  Sometimes your righteousness is doing more damage than good.  Remember Christians are still sinners too!  Stop defining yourselves by what you “don’t” do…

..and begin defining yourself by what you “do” do (<—hehehe)!

You are running off all of our good sinners!

I am pretty sure that, when Jesus was hanging with the prostitutes, he didn’t say “Yeah, well, if you want my love, then you have to stop wearing those short skirts and looking skanky.  I will only love you if you abide by this list of ‘don’t’.  Once you stop doing those things, then we can talk.”  

No…HE loves us where we are!

As we become more in relationship with him, HE speaks to us and convicts our hearts INDIVIDUALLY.

HE knows that HE needs ALL kinds of Followers to show HIS love to all kinds of Sinners!

So the next time that you, Mr/Mrs Christian, decide to shove your list of “don’t” down someone’s throat…

Please, stop…and just love that person where they are!

God knows where HE needs to work on that person’s heart.  That is HIS job, not yours.

18 thoughts on “Christians, please stop running off our sinners!

  1. I loved your message and it is so true. We have to meet people where we are and also where they are. We do not judge, only Love!

  2. Love, love, love this! I love your heart my sweet friend. We are called to love all of God’s children in spite of where they are in their journey. We are called to be an example and LOVE the way Jesus loves us in all of our sinfulness…. Trust me… I don’t deserve His love but I am so thankful He loves me anyway….. and I am also so thankful that He made us friends! You are such a precious gift to so many people… Love you bunches!

  3. All I can say is AMEN!!!! That was the very thing that kept me from denomination when I moved to TN. I have never felt so much pressure to choose a church home in my life and feel like if I chose this church home it was wrong thru these eyes but if I chose this home it was wrong thru those eyes. I felt like it was no one’s place but His to guide me to right and not others to tell me my wrongs. Glad you posted!
    P.S. Chris and I have donated a little present to the girls for all their hard work! Our plan it to donate monthly! Bless you all and ALL your love for Him and others!!!
    Love, The Brown’s

    • Chris and Ashlie,
      I love your hearts! So glad that you continued pursuing your relationship with Christ regardless of the hesitation. Thank you for the donation to the girls’ “Project 145:9”. It will definitely help buy some food for these little doggies!
      Love you!!!

  4. This resonated with me on many levels. Meeting individuals who are hesitant, new to church or Christianity, whatever the case – overwhelming them with all of the “musts and must nots” isn’t the way to get the proverbial ball rolling. We are all on different timelines. Some of us reach the big stuff earlier than others and some never get there at all. Still, don’t fault them. Our last pastor, before our move to TN, summed it up like this: “Do as much as you can with as much as you understand.” I dug it – I can work with that. I don’t fully understand every aspect of the Bible but what I do, I will represent it the very best way I can. Love! xo

  5. Wow, wow, wow, is all I can say. As someone who used to be in one of those religions with all the rules all I can say is you are soooo right, telling people are your do’s and don’ts just chases them off!

  6. I’m continually amazed at how much God loves us just where we are! It’s through our living examples as Christians, loving and encouraging the lost, to entice them to want the peace, love and joy that only comes through an amazing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! I’m overcome with thankfulness and gratefulness that He forgave my ugly sins, “as far as the east is from the west!” Blessings to you and your family as you serve and share God’s love with the world!

  7. I saw this poem (below) posted this morning after reading (and loving) your blogpost…..

    I was shocked, confused, bewildered
    As I entered Heaven’s door,
    Not by the beauty of it all,
    Nor the lights or its decor.

    But it was the folks in Heaven
    Who made me sputter and gasp–
    The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
    The alcoholics and the trash.

    There stood the kid from seventh grade
    Who swiped my lunch money twice.
    Next to him was my old neighbor
    Who never said anything nice.

    Bob, who I always thought
    Was rotting away in hell,
    Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
    Looking incredibly well.

    I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
    I would love to hear Your take.
    How’d all these sinners get up here?
    God must’ve made a mistake.

    ‘And why is everyone so quiet,
    So somber – give me a clue.’
    ‘Hush, child,’ He said,
    ‘they’re all in shock.
    No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

    JUDGE NOT!!

    Remember…Just going to church doesn’t make you a
    Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

    Every saint has a PAST…
    Every sinner has a FUTURE!

  8. Amazingly poignant insight into our modern day churches. Thank you so much for reminding me that God has called us to Love our neighbors, not condemn them. Love you guys!

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