While I am not an individual who typically blogs about controversial topics, sometimes a broad has to dust off her soapbox and stand on it.
You see, I am someone who firmly believes that Jesus was sent to die for our sins and rose again, creating a pathway to eternal life with God. Simple as that. Unfortunately, I have found that I am not the best at bringing people into a relationship with Christ by merely talking to them. I was not blessed with the gift of verbal communication…just ask my husband.
So when people ask things like, “How did Jesus feed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish?” I’m over here like, “Uhh…he’s Jesus.” (The response doesn’t typically fly with non-believers.)
I think it goes without saying, I try to let the light of Christ shine through my actions, rather than my words most days.
All of that being said, it’s hard to ignore some of the interesting actions of Christians lately, especially in the world of social media. While I’m not trying to put my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on blast, I think it’s time to throw out the life preservers.
Being guilty of some of the following, I realize how easy it can be to not recognize what you are doing when you’re doing it. Which is why I have composed this handy list – just in case you happen to be repelling non-believers and not even know it.
1. You’re all up in arms over a red cup.
Do you know what message we send when we quibble over red cups? Well, for starters, we give Starbucks free advertising (genius move on their part). Additionally, it gives off the vibe that we, as Christians, have rooted our faith in words and Christmas prints on a cup, rather than in Jesus himself.
My favorite article on the topic comes from Emily Heath. If you haven’t checked out her post, “Christians and Coffee Cups”, you can can read it here.
2. You publicly COMPLAIN when someone does you wrong.
In a day and age where people are bound to get arthritis in their necks (if that’s even possible) from looking down at their phones so much, it’s not surprising that most individuals feel the need to share every aspect of their life on the world wide web – it’s how we stay connected. From interesting articles to pictures of what we ate for lunch, we document everything.
It’s no wonder when someone cuts you off in line, after you’ve been waiting 10 minutes for your infamous red cup, that you want to shout it out to the world. But guess what? When I see a fellow Christian put someone else on notice like that, it makes me think twice about how I “act” around them, for fear of being publicly persecuted via social media. The one evident truth about Christianity, is to LOVE, and when you toss out your complaints like yesterday’s trash all over your newsfeed, it doesn’t really scream, “Love thy neighbor.”
3. You curse.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
I’ve been known to let a curse word slip every once in a while. Heck, before I came to faith, I was practically a sailor sans the ship. But when your sentences are filled with profanity, it’s hard to believe that you take what you’re reading in your daily quiet time seriously – and if you’re not going to take it seriously, why would someone who doesn’t have a relationship with Christ be interested in picking up what you’re putting down?
4. You approach touchy topics defensively.
It’s no secret that I am a pro-life supporter; but you won’t see me share an article on the subject if it comes off as a proverbial old testament stoning. The whole point of God sacrificing his one and only son, was so we could live in a world filled with grace, free from the law. Now don’t get it twisted, that doesn’t mean you have a get out of jail free card, it does mean however, that God’s grace covers your sin. When we get caught up in slinging our views in a negatively emotional way, grace goes right out the window and lands next to the #blessed welcome mat on our front porch. How’s that for irony.
5. You assume everyone believes what you believe.
Often times, I think the biggest fault of Christians, is we assume everyone believes what we believe. So when we are faced with a controversial topic, like gay marriage or abortion, our immediate reaction is to shove Jesus down each other’s throat – which inevitably only drives people further away. Not every Tom, Dick, and Harry believes in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, but I bet my bottom dollar (whatever that means), the minute you start posting things like “God hates gays” (please refer to Westboro Baptist Church), you’ve forever lost the opportunity to share the LOVE of Christ with another human.
We may not be called to love the sin, but we are called to love the person. The same way God loves you, is how you are supposed to love another.
In other words, show some grace.