We Need to Refocus

So, this is not the blog I planned on posting next but based on my social media feed and just how this has been something that I have been wanting to talk about for a while, I felt that this is very appropriate. With my Facebook blowing up with posts about Alabama and abortion, the James Charles and Tati Westbrook controversy, the lifted ban of Endgame spoilers (and no, I didn’t get to see it before the ban was lifted, so thanks everyone), even Grumpy Cat died just yesterday. It’s getting quite overwhelming to just turn on my phone in the morning.

This post is not to share my opinion on the abortion controversy nor is it about any other controversy that has taken over our society. In fact, this is simply about what I have been seeing in Christians in the midst of all of this controversy. If you are a passionate Christian, or even if you are a passionate non-Christian, I encourage you to take a break from the arguments you are having with your colleagues to simply just be reminded of who you are and what your role is in this world. If you are not a Christian and you are continuing to read this, please feel free to continue. In fact, I encourage you to because if you were like me, someone that had been deeply hurt by the church before becoming a devoted follower of Christ, it may help to know that there are Christians that deeply care about you.

Now, for Christians that I see on my social media feeds. I think it’s about time we wake up and realize how easily distracted we have become over the past couple years. I became a Christian shortly after the refugee crisis became a nationwide, social media inflamed contention. Every Christian had their own opinion over the events, some were healthy and Biblical, some were not. Then, enters into the picture the LGBTQ Rights Movement. Now, the Abortion-rights Movement. With every new controversy that enters our society’s picture, we Christians tend to place our opinions right in the middle of it.

Is sharing our opinions wrong? No, in fact, everyone absolutely needs to share their opinions about political movements and events. However, whenever your sole focus on approaching these topics and controversies are to post your rightful opinions on your social media pages and arguing with that random person that you don’t even know, you just know that they don’t agree with you. Christians, when our main focus is to change the laws of our nation and state’s government rather than the change of hearts of the individuals in our nation and state, then we have lost ALL focus.

How about we take a moment, and like I said for those who are non-Christians, please feel free to read from your position, one that has been hurt by us Christians. In fact, on behalf of the Church, I want to deeply apologize for the unintentional and the intentional hurt we have caused in our world. We should not be known by the hurt we cause. Christians, how about we take a moment to reflect on our own hearts and the commands Jesus gives us in regards to the world. In fact, let’s focus on the greatest commandment.

In Matthew 22, the Pharisees are questioning Jesus and asking him what exactly is the greatest commandment. This is how Jesus responds. In verse 37 he says,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.”

I know that most of us view our opinions and beliefs as an honorable stance for God. We definitely have the loving God with “all our mind” part down. But is it out of our hearts and souls that we love God? One time, I had a conversation with a friend about love. I told him how I catch myself telling almost everyone that I know that I love them, to the point that it sort of lost its luster. To the random classmate or the guy that I know at work, I would just casual say, “I love that guy,” or “She’s so funny, I love her.” But I told my friend that there needs to be a stronger way of saying ‘I love you” without saying “I love you.” Then, I began to think about it. For those random people that I say that I love, I felt like it was about me doing the loving, like it was my action. But my actions, emotions, and feelings tend to come and go. I want people to know that I love them and that love is not going anywhere. So, instead of saying “I love you,” as if I am loving out of action, I came up with, “I have a love for you.” Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it is to express a love that you possess and it’s not going away. It is so powerful that nothing can change it or take it away. It is more powerful to say, “I have a love for you” than it is to simply say “I love you.”

We need to “have a love for God” as Christians. Does your 10-30 posts a day about abortion, the LGBTQ, your dog, whatever it may be, express the love you have for God? Or are you just focused on letting people know that you believe they’re wrong? The Gospel is not about letting people know that they’re wrong, but that Jesus is the righteous source of love, peace, and acceptance. Because, the second commandment that Jesus gives is just as important as the first. They go hand-in-hand.

“41 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Here’s the thing, we believe as Christians that we are children of God, right? If we believe that, then do we believe that non-Christians are not children of God? If so, then why are we so shocked to see people that are not children of God not obeying Him? It would be like if you took your kid to the park with his friends and their parents and one of the other kid’s parents tells your kid to do something while you’re standing there. Your kid is going to turn to you first and wait for your command to follow their command. Your kid will always obey you as their parent before someone else’s. Non-Christians do not view God as their parent, so why are you shocked when you see them disobeying your parent?

Non-Christians, this is not meant to put a wall between you and us. We follow God’s Word and we are taught that we as Believers in Christ are children of God. Those who don’t believe are not considered children. However, I want you and the Christians that read this to know that you are deeply loved despite not being our brother or sister in Christ. Which means that our focus should not be to tell you that you are wrong or that we should focus on changing the government’s laws to benefit our belief system. Our focus is to let you know that you are deeply loved by both us and Jesus. The Good News of Jesus and the availability of salvation is our main focus. Well, it should be.

Which also means that we, as Christians, need to step away from our phones and computers, unlock our doors and invite you over for dinner. We need to stop posting on social media about our views, opinions, and honestly, we need to stop treating social media as our only outlet to share the Gospel. Most of us consider sharing the Gospel to be when we post the daily verse on our Facebook stories. That is not the case. Which also means that this post is almost hypocritical if I don’t step away after I post this and actually go to someone I know to let them know that I have a love for them.

So, invite your gay neighbor over for dinner. Send your friend that is pro-abortion a good morning text and that you’re praying for them. Bring your colleague to your child’s baseball game and spend time with them and let them know that they are deeply loved by you. In the midst of letting them know that they are loved, the love of God can be more easily presented than it would through your thirteenth Facebook post. Love God and others more than just with your mind.

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