Look. I think we should all be careful on how much we invoke the name of the Lord in our day to day lives.
Some people are just too darn caught up in trying to act like a Christian that they forget to actually be one.
And I think people just don’t realize how much more damage they do by their words and actions.
You just have to know, that if you say something incredibly stupid to me, I’m just going to have respond with something more stupid and outlandish than what you said.
My wife had a run-in with a volunteer. My wife was sick that day and wasn’t in the best of moods. On top of that, there was real big drama that occurred before the volunteer arrived. So when the volunteer came and asked questions, my wife pointed to the a sign that all volunteers have to read and that had all the answers the volunteer wanted to know.
At the end of the day, the volunteer was upset with many things. She was upset that there weren’t as many people (which begs the question… when you’re volunteering at a shelter, does it matter how many people show up that you can help? Even if one person showed up, shouldn’t that be more than worth your time?) Then she was upset with the “coldness” that she felt from my wife. My wife apologized if she came off rude and cold to which the lady responded “that’s okay. I’ll just pray that God will put love in your heart.”
Now, bless my wife’s heart, she just smiled and walked away.
But because I’m a jackass, smart ass and an ass all rolled up into one, I wouldn’t have let that go. She didn’t know that my wife goes to church. She didn’t know that my wife has a seminary education and degree. And since the place my wife works at is an interfaith shelter, she wouldn’t know for sure if my wife was a Christian.
Now, how would a non-Christian react to someone telling them “I’ll pray that God will put love in your heart?” And you have to realize, whether Christian or not, love and a big heart is necessary and needed to work at such a place. You can’t survive there without love.
Maybe I read it the wrong way, but I immediately thought that it was such a judgmental and snobby thing to say. Had someone said that to me, without blinking I would’ve responded “thank you, and I’ll pray that God will put humility in your heart and hope that humility will drive out the arrogance and pride and replace it with love and compassion.” Yea, so much for turning the other cheek, ey? Call it pride, call it being mean, but for the life of me, I wouldn’t have been able to let that statement go without saying something, anything. So it’s a good thing that it happened to my wife and not me. (And for some who may think I’m overreacting because this was said to my wife, you’re wrong. I would be just as frustrated and annoyed if this statement is said to a stranger).
Is it no surprise that many people just don’t like Christians? And could this type of holier than thou attitude have anything to do with it?
And because some of us invoke the name of God in every way we can (“oh, praise the Lord!” “oh, God bless your heart!” “oh I’ll pray for you!” “oh, ain’t God so good in this way?” etc), then we should be more careful and thoughtful of our every actions. But for the life of me, I can’t understand why those who are first to invoke the name of God and the first to proclaim that they are Christians are the first to spread gossip and slander, first to be judgmental and first to shy away when a Christian is really needed.
Which leads me to the verses “not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven” or “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” or simply “Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”
Now I need to go and really pray, repent and apologize for this judgmental post. I know I made a huge generalization and not everyone behaves in such a way.
But I personally feel we would do God (and the church) a huge favor by letting our actions speak for us.
Either way, this post also shows that there’s a lot of humility that needs to be placed into my heart, and I won’t be offended if you told me that “I’ll pray that God puts more humility in your heart.” I’ll just have to respond with an “amen” and “you’ll gonna need to pray real hard…” =)