Friends, I just have to say that I am consistently, completely and utterly disgusted by the lack of kindness in our world and the overabundance of judgment.
And we are all guilty of failing to be kind and judging; each and every one of us. That includes me. And you.
I have had a lot on my mind in the wake of the awful tragedy in Orlando and the ensuing, endless arguing, name-calling and unproductive dialogue on social media. What I see exploding all over the internet today makes me feel sick, sad, angry, and even a little defensive all at the same time.
Hopelessness for our world begins to creep in when so many precious lives are lost all at once for no reason. Hopelessness tugs at me as I watch those of us who are still here start pointing fingers and declaring where the blame “clearly” belongs.
A few weeks ago, I sat in church listening to an incredible part of a journey through the book of Romans. We talked about judgment and how we as humans aren’t fit (or called upon) to judge others. The majority of the talk was directed at Christians.
In Jesus’ time, the “religious folks” of the day sat on their high and mighty thrones, judging everyone for not being as good as they were. They condemned others for breaking God’s laws (which the others did). But they were routinely reprimanded by Jesus for their haughty ways.
Let me be clear that as a Christian with many Christian friends and acquaintances, the picture of Christianity that’s so often presented today saddens me deeply and does not reflect the kind of life that many of us lead. We’re called hateful, we’re called archaic, and we’re called out of touch with reality.
A good bit of that rhetoric will always be there; Jesus said as much.
But we are not without blame, church. We, too, like the religious folk of old, so easily sit behind our fences and point out the sins of others.
Yet Romans 2:1 says, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.”
While this passage is directed at the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, I believe it holds
priceless wisdom for ALL of us today; Christian or not. The Bible says to “let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” (Hint: ain’t nobody justified to throw stones.)
I would also like to be clear that I believe in right and wrong. I have opinions and beliefs just like everyone else. But I also know that I am not the judge. That’s God’s job-not mine, not yours.
Hug a gay friend today, you guys. Send kind words to a horrified and scared community of fellow human beings on this planet, whom God loves. Let them, or any other individual or group that has suffered a tragedy (recent or not) know that you haven’t forgotten.
After all, your kindness will go a lot farther than your preaching.
To quote the wonderful Oswald Chambers, “Jesus Christ was always consistent in His relationship to God, and a Christian must be consistent in his relationship to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to strict, unyielding doctrines. People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.”