I am fully aware of how some people react when I post bible verses or devotionals on my Facebook timeline. They are ‘turned off’ by references to Jesus or to the Bible. I know this because I used to react the same way.
It’s been a gradual process for me to become comfortable posting messages that show so clearly where I stand spiritually. Among friends, it’s generally accepted etiquette to ignore posts that turn you off for whatever reason. You shouldn’t ‘throw down’ on Facebook with anybody, but fighting about God is particularly bad form. So, no one disagrees, they just don’t engage. I get a fair number of comments or likes or shares of things I say, and things from others that I share, but I have quite a lot of friends, and the percentage of reaction is low.
My sense is that life here on earth may allow you to be complacent for a while, but eventually it wakes you up with an event, or series of events that make you realize – right then, or later on – that you need to find the Lord. He already knows where you are. You have lived in His constant care and love since before you were born and He is patiently waiting for you to come around. He can literally wait forever, but He wants you to be with Him forever, so He wants us to interact and share the good news of God, and the great gifts of His son, Jesus Christ.
He wants a relationship with us, and to have a relationship, you have to get to know one another. He made you, so He already knows more about you than even you ever will. All that’s left is for us to get to know Him. To know Him is to love Him, as the song goes. He doesn’t force us to love Him, because love requires choice – free will. He gives us the option, but He also gives the opportunity to know Him with his word, and with all kinds of people who, knowingly or not, provide little bits of insight into God and His awesome love, grace, kindness and patience.
Unfortunately, whether in zeal, or in ignorance, or in true hypocrisy, some Christians introduce God and his son inappropriately, focusing not on love, but on rules and restrictions and punishment and judgement. In so doing, they rob the other person of the opportunity to know more about Christ’s love, His sacrifice, and His free gift of salvation for anyone who simply accepts it.
Sadly, many reject Jesus because of the company He keeps. As in His day, when He showed love and compassion for sinners and others who were not perfect (that being absolutely everyone, except Jesus himself), many people today simplistically equate imperfect Christians with Jesus, and thus reject both. This is the old, ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ conundrum. The Pharisees hated Jesus because he hung out with the lowly, folks who needed redemption and knew it, rather than proudly (and inaccurately) proclaiming their superiority. Likewise, it’s easier to dismiss Jesus if you are introduced to Him by someone or some group whose hypocrisy or other weakness is either evident, or becomes so later.
Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior has an obligation to share the good news with others. This is called a ministry, not in the narrow sense of being a pastor or priest, but in simply sharing the aforementioned ‘little bits of insight’ or pieces to the puzzle that those who hear it will eventually assemble and believe. I believe strongly that what I say, and more so, what I write, is inspired by the Holy Spirit and that nothing I see or read or hear or think of in this regard is run into by chance. There is a reason.
I may never know what that reason is, or whom the words were meant to influence, but I believe fervently that I am helping provide pieces of a puzzle that people can combine with the other pieces they gather. The end result of this, hopefully, is bringing more people to Christ. This is our responsibility as Christians and the greatest act of love we can commit during our time on earth.
So, what to do now? The best advice I have heard is to accept Jesus on faith and what you already know, however little that may be. Resisting this is resisting eternal life and salvation. If you have another way that you think will get you there, I suppose you can pursue that. But chances are you don’t, or you just don’t want to think about it. In reality though, Jesus is the way to get ‘there.’
So ask Jesus into your heart. Right now. Trust Him and let Him work with you. Learn more about him. You will find that, despite any judgmental Christians you may have met, He never judged. He just loved and cared and encouraged and sacrificed Himself for us.
You may ask, ‘why do I have to accept him in order for him to work on me?’ and this is a reasonable question. God can do anything, whether we like it or not, so why doesn’t He just take over and fix us? This gets back to free will. We are free to turn our backs on God. We are free to chase other idols and squander the opportunity to know Him. That is a choice, but it is not a wise choice.
May God bless you and keep you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6