This week our little county in Missouri has made national news. A transgender high school senior wants to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms at school. The school board is trying to make decisions about what the policy will be on this type of situation moving forward. I am sure you have an opinion on the topic. We are on the news because a lot of people have an opinion on the topic. I have an opinion on the topic. Want to hear it?
You’re not going to because that’s not what this blog post is about.
We see enough of people’s opinions. Some of them are even right. The problem that I see though is that we forget at the other end of our opinion/belief is a person that Jesus loves, that He died for.
Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose
Proverbs 18:21 MSG
I watched Carl Lentz being interviewed on Katie Couric several months ago. He is the lead pastor of Hillsong New York. (You can check out a portion of the interview yourself here). For the record I think Carl Lentz is a pretty cool guy and a pretty good pastor. Other people don’t agree. Why? Mostly because we live in a culture where Christians are so afraid of having their rights taken away that we want to fight everything so hard. In Lentz’s words, “people yell without love.”
Jesus was about love.
Hear me. Loving someone isn’t about approving of everything they do. (Think about the whole love the sinner hate the sin line.) The problem is in trying to explain our beliefs about the sin, we have inadvertently hated the sinner. (We may not have meant to but we did.)
We shout things at the top of our lungs because we are so afraid of our freedoms being infringed upon, of our beliefs being disrespected that we forget about what Jesus would want us to do. He would want us to have a conversation with an individual. He would want us to listen to their story and then tell them ours. He would want us to be kind. He would wants us to love.
I know what you’re thinking, Jesus would want us to tell people the truth. You’re right. He told people the truth. He sat at a well with a broken woman and told her exactly where she was and it was a messy place. But he didn’t shame her. He didn’t post about her on Facebook. He didn’t make her feel like less. He told her the truth. He told her about Himself because He is the Truth. And He did it, not out of fear, or a feeling of Christian obligation, He did it out of love. How do I know? Because Jesus went out of his way, literally, to have a one on one conversation with a woman no one else would have bothered to talk to.
Facebook posts and blanket statements are easy. One on one encounters that speak to the heart of an individual, where they can look you in the eye and see and hear and feel the love of Jesus, those take a little more work.
Yes, we have a lot of opinions. But do we have a lot of loving conversations with individuals?
Jesus didn’t ask you to yell about politics. He didn’t ask you to stand on moral soapboxes. He asked you to share the Gospel, to share His story of love and sacrifice to those who need it.
When was the last time, in the midst of all your opinions, that you stopped to just share Jesus with someone? When was the last time you loved someone you didn’t agree with in more than just thought but in action?
To tag onto Carl’s words once again, we need to be less about behavior modification and more about soul transformation. In the end, we can’t change anybody. We can only love them and point them to a Savior who can transform them.
It’s His kindness that leads to repentance. Kindness that is shown through us, our words our actions.