"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." – Mahatma Gandhi
How many times have you heard of people leaving the church or speaking against Christianity, not because of God but because of us, because we love so contrary to the Jesus we say we follow?
We have made it hard for people to see Jesus because of how we love…or how we don't love. We must change this! As Jesus’ FOLLOWERS, we need to take Jesus’ teachings on love literally and seriously and follow Him in the way He modeled love. How we live - and our lack of Christ-like love - must stop being the reason people give for not turning to Jesus.
Loving others the way He first loved us will prove if we are truly one of Jesus’ followers.
Jesus raises the bar when it comes to love in the context of relationships with others. Check out what He said in Matthew 5:21-22a, 23-25a
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary…”
Jesus isn’t saying that anger in itself is bad. It’s not! What Jesus is saying is to not let your anger get to point that you desire harm to another. However, Jesus knew beforehand that we would wrong others in a way that would cause them harm and to have destructive anger. Following Him doesn’t mean we won’t wrong people…we WILL. Sometimes we’ll truly wrong others, and it is our fault they are filled with anger. Other times we don’t really wrong them, but they perceive we have and their feelings of being wronged will fill them with anger.
Regardless, Jesus says that when we know we have wronged another or that they feel wronged by us, WE are to take the first step.
Want to follow Jesus? Then GO, reconcile with those whom you have wronged or who feel wronged by you. THIS is how we practically love like Jesus.
Does some feel wronged by you? Will you follow Jesus and reconcile?
If someone comes to mind, I urge you…take these 3 practical steps:
- GO…toward them.
- NAME IT…put to words what you have done to wrong them or how they feel wronged.
- CLAIM IT…own it and apologize.
We can’t right a wrong, but we can stop the damage it is causing…in you, them, your relationship, and our reputation as Christ-followers in the world.
Will you GO and be reconciled?