The Whiskey Chronicles 22- Fear & Disgust

       Another issue normal people face when considering our Christian faith is the disgust they have with the uncovered activities of many Christian leaders and the practices of too many Christian organizations. We are not a church without spot or blemish.

       People expect more from a group that claims to know the God of the universe in a pure and personal way. They expect more from Christian leaders who cut corners, who play the edges of the gospel, and live lives that are less than reputable.

       No wonder people are skeptical of the veracity and practice of our faith. What we confess that Jesus is the way, the Truth, and the life, but that doesn’t match the way we live. So we come across as duplicitous to too many people. I’ve been guilty of this myself— this conflicting nature. For that, I am truly sorry. I apologize. Please forgive me.

            The onus remains on us to live lives that lift up our Lord Jesus. But our people are not yet fully redeemed. We are an imperfect people, struggling to be transformed by the indwelling Christ. Regrettably, too many of us have been poor representatives of the God we serve. And people outside our faith stand ready to point that out and condemn our failures.

       We need to ask ourselves— What do we need to change in our behavior so people will be less disgusted with us and our faith in Christ?

1.      For one, we need to live reputable lives— not lives that bend the rules or distract from the purity of life that our Lord has obtained for us.

2.      Then…̶̶  we need to strive to live lives of sacrifice. For example, most of us give to causes we believe in within the scope of our budget. But should we not also set aside some money for emergency giving? People often have special needs that arise unexpectedly. What if we could have a Special Needs Fund (SNF) ready to give to people on the spot?

3.      I know I’ve said this before but I believe it so important to learn to love people as the foundation of the Gospel. All the outlines or presentations we design are nothing without a context of love. So the question we must answer is— Can we love people the way our Lord loved them, with no condemnation?! This implies that we put aside our own peculiar prejudices and attitudes about them. They are not a perfect group of people: neither are we.

4.      We need to take down our own masks that hide the work of Christ within. We tend to put on a good face for people who don’t understand our faith. On the contrary we need to display out real selves, as Christians, with all our warts and failings. Why are we so afraid to be more transparent in our faith?

5.      We need to learn to lead lives that are covered with prayer; not prayer as a passing fancy, but prayer that is a passion. Western Christians are not very passionate about much anymore. We must develop passionate lives that exude the praise to our Lord. Sedate, moderate Christianity will accomplish little in a volatile society.

       If people are disgusted with us, even fearful, we need to change the ways we live to reflect more goodness toward life, and love for those around us.

Loving God; loving people… and bringing the two together! ©

Gary

NEXT— foreign concepts

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