I recently engaged in a conversation with some people about church, God and Christians. I am well aware that I do not have all the answers, I never will. However, I have this desire and longing to find answers to questions whether it be from the Bible, a good book I find, within myself or by experience. I always want to learn more and I am open to hearing other people’s opinions and outlooks on subjects such as these.
These people in particular were expressing their frustrations with “Christians” and churches. They stated that the only thing they saw church as is a money making business and they thought that all Christians were fake. What he said next struck me- he said “Amber isn’t like them- she’s real.” I got in my car and started crying for two reasons.
1. I felt so honored and inadequate of those words. I have always wanted to be seen as real and genuine but I always thought others placed me in the same category as they did all Christians that had disappointed them. I feel as though I’ve fulfilled a purpose I did not think I had the ability of fulfilling. I am not perfect- very far from it actually. I long to be real and genuine in everything. I desire to live what I speak and practice what I preach. I am not the type of person to say something and do another. I want to be a woman of integrity and a woman of my word. I feel as though I’ve failed so many times and I guess this was just a little reminder to me that all my efforts do not go unnoticed. 2. It absolutely broke my heart to hear first handedly (as I have so many times) that someone else has been burned by “Christians” and therefore bases their opinions of them all on their bad experience. It angers me that they were judged by their appearance and it saddens me that once again another searching soul was turned away.
How I just want to have the character of Jesus- this is my one desire. I want His love to shine through me and show others that there IS hope, there IS life and that eternity is real. I cry when I think about the hardened hearts, the betrayed souls, the broken spirits and the crushed dreams. How can you look into searching eyes and not reach out? It’s beyond me. When I was in Mexico last month God spoke to me regarding the brokenhearted and he said, “Amber, when you see someone crying what do you do?” I said, “I ask them if they’re okay and hug them” (I’m big on hugs- I hug strangers, I get made fun of for that sometimes. I just love making people feel loved…haha). He said “Amber, my heart is to embrace the brokenhearted, to bind up their wounds and to show them who I truly am”. So, if I hug (embrace) them with the love that God has put inside of me, that opens the door for me to share His love and then He can begin to bind up their wounds andshow them who He is. I was overwhelmed by this simple little God moment and I feel like it really changed my perspective on things.
There are so many people who have a misconception about churches and Christians because they’ve had a bad experience, but they are not all like that. There comes a point where you have to discern for yourself between what’s right and what’s wrong. I agree, hypocrites make me sick and power and money hungry pastors and leaders upset me to no end BUT I know that, that is not the will of God. So, I’ve learned to take everything with a grain of salt. No one is perfect and no one meets perfection’s standards. Sometimes we have high expectations of those in leadership that when they prove their human-ness we get highly disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong here- I am in no way excusing sin by any means. I believe with my whole heart that as Christians we are held to a higher standard and we are to live our lives in purity as best we can. Yet, the truth remains we are in fact human.
I have an ache in my heart to see Christians rise up and go out into the streets and clothe the poor, heal the sick, save the lost, and reach the hopeless. The only place I’ve seen really and truly doing this recently is where we were in Mexico. They are truly going above and beyond and reaching indigenous mountain tribes for Jesus and risking their lives in doing so- it’s not a cake walk for them, it’s a scary, exciting and exhausting journey that they endure with much joy for they are fulfilling the will of their father. There is nothing better than to know you are doing the will of your father.
So lets live up to our self professed title- When you call yourself “Christian” do you realize what it is you’re taking on? I’m not sure I even do half the time. To be a Christian is to be Christ-like. Do we know what Christ was like? He laid down everything for His fellow man, he humbled himself to the lowest point and died on a cross for our horrible sins. He took upon himself the weight of the world’s wickedness and He was brutally beaten and chastised. I don’t think we fully understand this sacrifice. He died for me, the least I can do is try my best to live for Him.
Again my friends- I cherish you all whether I know you personally or solely on blogger. I think about you and I do pray for you. Pray for me, Lord knows I need it.