We’re Doing It Wrong

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Another senseless shooting. More lives lost. Lives that matter, because all lives matter.

I may be hasty in my post, because we don’t know the real motive of the shooter. We don’t know his religious or political bent, or his mental state, aside from the very obvious sickness it requires to massacre fellow human beings. All we do know is that he targeted Christians. And several unassuming, ordinary people left their dorm rooms, apartments, and homes yesterday morning, not knowing they’d be in the waiting arms of Jesus that afternoon, a heavenly throng waiting to shower a hero’s welcome on them. They were martyred for their faith; bravery at its best.

Again, not knowing if there is a religious motivation behind it, I was struck immediately by his targeting of Christians. And just as President Obama called a news conference for a ‘here we are again’ message (I’ll not address the gun control issue), I too am issuing my ‘here we are again.’

My message is this: Are we doing it right? Are we representing Jesus the best possible way?

And the best possible way is to draw people to you because of your LOVE. The Pope was in America last week, and the masses and multitudes are drawn to him in part because of his overt and obvious love for people. He stands firm in his convictions, yet does it in love. I’m telling you, we Christians have a huge marketing dilemma on our hands. Plain and simple, our job is to represent Jesus and all He stands for. A quick glance at the gospels proves over and over that Jesus went about doing good, and loving people. And when He did have to address someone’s sin, He did it in such a non-condemning way that made the transgressor want to be better, simply by having one encounter with Love. Jesus didn’t water down the offense, or compromise His stand for what is right. He was able to see past the sin, and see the heart of the sinner.

LOVE is what we’re called to do.

As I write this today, one day after the mass killing at the Oregon Community College, I have only heard reports of the gunman being a loner, dark, and reclusive. We are certain to learn much more in the coming days and weeks. But I can’t help but wonder if there was one encounter with love, one person with the heart of Jesus relentless in their pursuit of him, could yesterday have been another beautiful October 1st in Oregon, instead of a date on the calendar that will forever live in infamy?

If President Obama’s soap box is gun control, mine is that Christians re-think our punitive stance on every thing and everyone. I don’t take one verse of the Bible lightly; I stand for everything in it. But I continue to feel that as a whole, we don’t represent Jesus very well. There is much room for improvement, and it will require getting a little out of our comfortable patterns of “Christianity as usual” and doing a little self-examination.

I’d like to suggest some of my own personal reflections as I hold myself accountable: ‘was that thought/word kind?’ ‘If I were in their shoes, would I want to be looked upon the way I’m looking at him/her?’ (I’ve found we generally want to be judged by our intentions, while we judge others by their actions.) And the bottom line for me:

AFTER TODAY’S ENCOUNTER WITH ME, IS THAT PERSON BETTER?

Did their time with me leave them more joyful? smiled at? prayed for? empathized with? That needs to be our goal every day. Nobody had an encounter with Jesus while He was on this earth and stayed the same. May the same be said of me and of you. We’ve got to start spreading more love in order to overcome the evil all around us.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Joni Haldemn says:

    I just saw your posts through a picture of Zane Shropshire ……we are long time friends .

  2. Kim says:

    Well hello Joni! Nice to meet you.

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