"Am I the only one going through_________right now?"
"Why do I keep having questions about _________?"
"Why can't I just get this and be done with it? What's wrong with me that it's taking so long?"
I tell you that I follow Christ; at least I try. I try and follow His example and His teachings. Do I always succeed? Nope, not even. Sometimes, I even feel like I'm doing more harm for Christianity than good. I feel like I'm a caution sign of what can be wrong about us rather than what can be right about God.
But yet and still I try.
Okay, let's back up some. As I've told you before (I think) I have a Facebook account and now a Twitter account. The FB was opened up when I was a small group leader in the High School ministry of our previous church in Tennessee. I used it because it was an easy way to keep in contact with my guys outside of the church walls.
The twitter is something I've come into recently. I resisted and resisted and resisted. And now.....I'm hooked. It's a techno-geek thing and most of you probably wouldn't understand. That's okay, not everything is for everyone.
With twitter, you have people who follow your account. Basically, you are "tweeting" 140 character snippets throughout your day (or however often you do) and people sign on to "follow" or "read" your tweets. And you can sign up to "follow" other people's tweets as well.
Without delving too much into the medium, this is like any other social medium. The people you meet and sometimes talk to are from all walks of life and all different races, colors, creeds, etc. They bring to the table their own experiences and their own past and their own issues.
It's a great place to me. But some of the people I follow or who follow me are not exactly those you would expect to meet you in the church or to be the kind of person you would most likely talk to out in public. They have friended me and we tweet back and forth, just like a lot of my friends on Facebook. And sometimes, SOMETIMES, they even come and ask questions that they couldn't ask anywhere else for fear of being laughed at or made fun.
Jesus hung out with these type of people. He loved on them, and brought them close to Him, in order to teach them about the kingdom of Heaven; and about God and how much He wanted to reconcile them to Him. He didn't judge them for who they were on Earth, only for what they meant to God. Jesus may not have approved of their way of life; but when they got to know Him, they came to that realization on their own. They didn't need a bunch of Pharisees hitting them over the head with their phylacteries and their regulations. They were loved into the kingdom.
Now this isn't a lecture on being able to go into a bar and preach to the people there or into a strip club or wherever else you think. I'm not saying that we should use spreading the gospel as a reason for that kind of behavior.
But, if someone I happen to come into contact with is of a different lifestyle than you and they befriend me to ask me questions, you shouldn't turn your nose up at either of us. If you see me slipping into some behaviors that I shouldn't, then I fully expect you to take me aside and remind me of the great "I AM" I represent.
But don't tell me that just because she curses, or he drinks a little or they are living together that I shouldn't be friends with them. Don't tell me that I shouldn't talk to that person because God doesn't like their behavior. Don't tell me that people are talking about it because of what that person does for a living.
You can counsel me on how to interact with them properly and not to put myself in an embarrassing situation. You can help me to figure out how to reach a person in a lifestyle or with questions that I may not readily be able to answer. But don't you condemn someone just because they are different.
Romans 10:14-15, 17 (NKJV)-"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'...So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
We are called to live a life of love and compassion. We are called to be a light in the earth, and salt to the world. Why would He call us to do that with those who already know Him? We are to be an example to those who DON'T know Him, in order to bring them saving knowledge. There are people that I will never get to interact with in my sphere of influence, that you will see most every day and vice versa.
We need to be about our Father's business. Don't put yourself somewhere that will cause you to stumble. But by the same token, don't run from the world and insulate yourself and be happy that you are saved and going to Heaven. Don't you want to take some of those others around you with you? Or do you think they aren't worthy of knowing God?
Let's remember, at one time, someone thought we were worthy of investing time and energy in to be brought into the kingdom. Why do we always seem to forget that fact?
And if I'm way off on this, please feel free to let me know. I'm not saying I have this Christian walk down by any means. Let's help each other and not hinder the gospel.
Be blessed in the Lord today.