So we just made a purchase of some electrical items at a popular retail store and as we were checking out they asked me if I would like the two year protection plan in case there was a problem. Normally I am like, “no it will be fine” but this particular item that we had bought has had some trouble in the past according to the reviews. I decided that I should go ahead and get it because of what people had said about it. Well, the interesting thing is that those negative reviews were a small number (15) of people and the positive reviews we much more (100’s). But I put more value in the negative review then all the other positive reviews. This got me thinking about how people view church, church people and religion.
You see, I believe that many people take the negative “reviews” over the positive ones. I know a lot of people who have been hurt by people and churches and they begin to spread the negative and many people just make up their mind based on those “reviews”. The sad thing is there are a lot of good people trying to follow Christ as best that they can but get put in the negative side of things because they use the words, “I go to church” or “I am a Christian”. I guess the question is, “how have I negatively affected the church with my words, action and life? Have I been responsible for a bad review?” This question leads me to another one, “How can I change the negative perceptions of Christians? Well this leads to many more questions. I heard someone say (who is a follower of Christ) that the band they play in rarely get invited to play at churches because they are seen as on the “edge of Christianity” and that made me sad because if you got to know them and really listen to the message of their music you would see a deep love of God. So, is it my responsibility to change this in the church, this fear of something different or “edgy”? Well, I want to answer that with a yes and a no. No, I can’t change the hearts of people only God can do that. Yes, I can change my thoughts and ask God to soften my heart so that I can see things from a different perspective.
I think that if we offered a warranty on Christianity most people would take it because, yes, I/we have negatively affected the perception of Christians, the Church and Jesus. I have done things, said things and acted out of arrogance about my religion. For this I am truly sorry and if I have hurt you in the name of Jesus please forgive me. Now, I can sit here in this apology with just words or I can put faith in Jesus and the promises that He has made to me. I chose this day to be servant and let God change me so that I can be a positive review of my Jesus. I want to live closer to Him today than I did yesterday. I don’t want to be stuck, I want to sore on wings like eagles with Him. I choose today that I will not let religion dictate to me what it is to be Christ like; I will let Christ show me how to be like Him. I will not live according to my own strength but will allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen me. I choose to love the unlovable because I am unlovable without Jesus. I will choose to be a positive refection of Jesus in all that I say and do.
So, saying all that. It is not my responsibility to change you and how you think about the true Jesus, but it is my responsibility to ask God to change me and what I think. Let’s start being a positive review of Who Jesus is and What He is about.
In His Grip,