“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 14:17
When we find fault with someone or find out they do something or believe in something we don’t, it can become easy to dismiss them altogether even though they may still have a whole lot of good in them and lessons from thier own life and experiences we could learn from. It’s like after we find one little mess up in a person’s character under our own scrutinizing examinations of every dot and tittle of their life we can then sadly become guilty of what many might say is
“throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”
I have personally been in circles where the demand for a person’s perfection and for people to live up to other’s standards of their own righteousness was so high that almost no one could stand within that circle for any real length of time without some hidden fault or darkness being found, thus causing many good people to then be dismissed, ostracized and in some cases even demonized. I have seen this backlwards logic inappropriately used when choosing Church Leadership in smaller circles. Many times we can be guilty of looking for reasons to disqualify rather than validate.
My concern is that if we raise the bar too high and make our restrictions too tight and we deem too much unholy and we make our lists of do’s and don’t’s too strict we may actually be becoming unfortunately more like the self-righteous religious leaders of Christ’s own day (whom he sharply rebuked) than the imperfect yet perfectly loved children of The Most High God that we are.
I have much freedom in my grace from God and although it’s not a license to sin in any way, I would bet that my definition and understanding of “sin” may differ from yours.
As it does in many differing Christian denominations.
To some, any consumption of alcohol would be a sin, while in some other churches they will serve real wine in their communion. I have seen some groups who still refuse to eat pork and claim it to still be unclean. I have been to a church where a minister told me that any music that was in 4/4 timing was of the devil. He said that all Rock N Roll was in 4/4 timing and that Lucifer was the angel of music and that all 4/4 timing music was of him…. After a moment of silence, I placed my hand over his heart and I said “Did you know that your heart beats in 4/4 timing ?”
He just stared at me blankly and had nothing else to say after that….
My point in all of this is that we need to stop making it so hard for people to come to the Lord and then even moreso to serve and feel useful. As hands and feet of the body , let’s face it we need each other.
It’s like God himself draws people to Christ, his son and then we sometimes in our own misubderstandings unintentionally throw this huge, crazy and confusing gauntlet of right and wrong at them, that many times sadly loses them…
My imploring is for those who do such to others to just stop. Stop making Our Creator out as some sort of distant entity that demands perfection in our performance before intimacy…
Listen, Jesus is not a “Sin Cop” looking for reasons to disqualify you from the prize.
I personally believe that embracing Jesus is the prize. Jesus in us, our hope of glory. He is our Savior, our brother, our friend and Our King, whose love for us covers over a multitude of our wrongs and whose love keeps no record of them.
This is Good News. This is Grace. We have been Redeemed by Our Father in Heaven and he’s actually very happy to see us when we go to him. Even now. No matter what condition you are in. Turn your heart to Heaven and focus on God above. Boldly go into His throne room of Grace and get all the Forgiveness, Help and Love you need.
Jesus came to show us his ways. He’s not mad at you. Jesus came to show us the way, the way back home to Our Father in heaven who loves us deeply and dearly. So much he sent his son to get us and bring us back home.
All our healing flows from being back home with Our Father who art in Heaven.
In His Love, Pastor Scott Adrian Boggs