…take up your cross and follow me. –Jesus
As Christians we are to strive to be Christ-like. Jesus very specifically says the second most important commandment of God is to Love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39). To be Christ-like is being of the same mind, same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. With humility, we are called to regard one another as more important than ourselves, looking out for the interests of others (Phil 2:2-5) submitting to one another (Eph 5:21). To love is to show patience, kindness and to not be boastful, arrogant, rude… love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things (1 Cor 13). Love also keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:6). If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matt 6:15). Hate the sin, love the person (Rom 12:9-10).
Then there’s the world that is presented to us by the media.
My heart is heavy in our “Christian” responses to Josh Duggar… Caitlyn Jenner. There is some significant polarization in both Christians and non-Chrisitians in these media sensationalized stories. Scripture is being slung around like weapons to justify darkness in our hearts. Jesus is not being represented to the people who are starving for his love, grace, relationship.
…the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son. –Jesus
I have no intent to compare the two stories and the multiple sides or perspectives. I’d rather challenge us as Christians and focus on our representation of Jesus. I suppose I’m calling out myself. I’m calling out my brothers and sisters in Christ. We know what Jesus calls us to do. It’s really not complicated to understand but how can we consistently put this into practice? Love the unlovable? Hold each other accountable to showing grace?
We are asked to crack our chests open and love one another. Quite frankly it’s hard. We are inherently selfish, sinful, and guarded. Being the voice for love, grace, and compassion is risky socially and emotionally. Even so, this is a cross we should be taking up. Now, how can we better put this into practice…?