“You can’t save people. You can only love them.” – Anais Nin
I’ve been trouble recently by the way Christians treat, not only non-believers, but other Christians as well. Out of the mouth comes a constant stream of judgement, hate, slander, and prideful language. We’ve all grown up in some way or another believing that because we’ve got the key to salvation, we have this upper hand on the world. Nobody is immune to it.
Recently, I’ve really been learning about how wrong it is to be that way. We all know about those stereotypical “WWJD” bracelets that everyone used to have. I’ve been constantly thinking about how Jesus would react to different situations I’ve been a witness to. So many Christians have this mindset that because of their Christianity, they suddenly feel entitled to cast judgement on believers and non-believers alike.
My mom recently was talking about how she was struggling with the story of Jonah. We talked about why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh to spread the Word, and it wasn’t because he was scared of the people there, it was because, in his mind, they had sinned far too much to deserve salvation. Even though God had told him to go and present his message, Jonah decided with his own worldly mind and heart that they no longer deserved a second chance. This isn’t to say that all Christians run to do the opposite of what God says, it’s more to show how often we think like Jonah and decide that certain people are not fit or deserving of Jesus’ sacrificial gift to mankind.
Every single person on this earth who has lived, is living, and will live has been offered a gift of glorious salvation and grace. We, as Christians, know that better than anyone. We understand that our sins have been erased. If we grasp that incredibly beautiful concept – the one of undeserving grace – why are we so hesitant to show it to others? Why are Christians so haughty, that they decide who is and isn’t deserving of the grace Jesus so badly wanted everyone to receive?
Why do we see homosexuals, prostitutes, women who get abortions, etc, and, rather than being the hands and feet of Christ and loving them relentlessly, treat them like lesser humans and label them as sinners? Yes, those people are sinners, but so is everyone else in this world. That is why Jesus gave his life on the cross. Why do some Christians tell other Christians that they aren’t Christian enough? Why do Christians only surround themselves with other Christians?
Why are we so scared of getting dirty? Why are we so scared of getting involved with people who we think are more sinful than us? News Flash: All sin is equal in God’s eyes. You are sinning just as much as the man who just came out as gay. That is the modern Christian’s problem. We all need to take a minute and get off our high horses and realize that out of all the people in the world, we are the one who should be getting our hands dirty and helping others find the gift of grace. We are so focused on ourselves and determining what is wrong and right, that we are leaving out the people who need salvation the most. We have been given the greatest gift in the world by our Jesus, and knowing that, why aren’t we all racing to the dirtiest and darkest of places to share the good news? Why are we so determined to stay in our beautiful houses and pristine lives and not touch our skewed version of “worse sin.” Yes, sin is contagious, but you already caught it. You were born with that disease, but you also have the remedy. We have to stop keeping it to ourselves. We are in desperate times, and we need to get our hands dirty like Jesus did. We could make such a big dent if we all put on our big girl underwear and stopped being afraid of other people’s sin long enough to lead them to Jesus.
If Jesus did what so many Christians are doing, we would all be on the straight path to hell. But our Savior, perfect and sinless, came to a sinful world and surrounded himself with the sinful people, the outcasts, the sick, the homeless, the prostitutes, the thieves, and murderers. He surrounded himself with what we see as the worst of the worst in terms of sin. But Jesus saw them all as his children. He saw them with love and grace, the same love and grace he looks at us with. We desperately need to begin looking at the world with relentless love and grace, just like Jesus.