Last Friday a lady told me one of the reasons she does not believe in Jesus is because of her experiences with Christians at a young age. It was well known at the church she went to who was cheating on who with who, who was drunk, and who was doing other things. Yet, on Sunday, every one smiled and played nice. Some people in the church convinced her mom that demons were entering their house through the music this lady was listening to. She had all sorts of signed concert paraphernalia in her room – one piece was a Billy Idol autographed record. One day she came home from school to find every poster, record, and signed piece of anything had been burned in the bar-b-q pit in her back yard.
She wanted nothing to do with Jesus. AHHHHHH!!!!
I continue to find the enemy powerfully uses the mistakes of Christians to keep people away from Jesus. (This ladies’ story is very normal.) If you are reading this and you are not a follower of Jesus, I pray that the enemy has not deceived you to fixate on the egregious mistakes of Christians so that you cannot see Jesus. This is an old, but very effective, weapon of the enemy. No matter what any follower of Jesus says or how they present themselves, we are not perfect. In fact, any faithful follower of Jesus will be intensely aware of their own brokenness. Nevertheless, sometimes the caricature of the finger pointing Christian is proved true. It is severely unfortunate but it does happen.
My encouragement for the lady I met was to separate for a moment those who she had contact with and look at Jesus for herself. Take a fresh look at who He is, what He teaches, and what He did. What do you see in Him? Who is He? What does He say it means to walk with Him?
These may be hollow words to you depending on what your experience has been but I sincerely mean them – as a Pastor, on behalf of those who, in the name of Jesus, have wronged you, I ask for your forgiveness. For those of you that I have been the source of your pain, can you forgive me? (I would love to get together and talk.) Can you forgive us who have done these things to you? What we did is not excusable and your forgiveness will be given out of grace – not out of anything deserved. We will not “get away” with anything. Our Father knows all and sees all – trust that He will take care of us. There is a greater issue at stake – you being reconciled with the God of all creation who has been calling you back to Him through Jesus.
For those of us who love God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and who long to see people come to faith in Jesus, we must be prepared to help people deal with the wounds caused by our brothers and sisters. May our Father fill you with His grace and wisdom as you press into the lives of others to share with them the magnificent love of God!
Trexo exists to assist churches, ministries, and people in more effectively making disciples who make disciples.