Maeve is brilliant. She said:
I can recall that a long time ago I had a priest who was forever lecturing that our actions and our voices needed to be making people want to say “tell me more! tell me why you are as you are” and not “let’s get away from them; they’re so strange; I don’t ever want to be like that”.
Which, at least for me, leads to the following: and what, exactly is it about us that would make anyone want to even consider asking “why?” and thinking that maybe they could have a change of heart too?
I guess I’m less concerned with how “perfect” we appear to be, but rather whether or not people can see something is us that they want for themselves. I would hope that what I display in my actions, words, demeanor, and appearance is that I have something wonderful in my life; something that makes my time here on this earth worthwhile and valuable; something that more often makes me a “blessing” to others than a “curse”. I KNOW that that “something” is my faith; I want it to be visible in a way that attracts that same desire for “that something” – faith in others.
I can tell you, from talking to my friends who are non-Christians, that this is NOT how Christians as a whole are coming off. We’re supposed to have the Light of God inside of us, we’re supposed to be fearlessly kind, insanely loving, mindbogglingly forgiving… and mostly the Worldlings just hear us yelling instructions. To them.
Living the Christian life isn’t *supposed* to be possible without Christ. If the Law was sufficient, we’d still be under the Law. So why do we yell about the new law to folks who haven’t signed on?
Oh. Well, yes. It’s much nicer to live with people who have the same values as we have. Much easier to raise our kids (I have two kids. Youngish kids. I get this) when we don’t have to constantly explain to them what exactly that poster (or advertisement, or magazine cover) is about. And it’s upsetting to watch people sink our world perpetually further into darkness. Yeah, i get that too. (Have I mentioned that I live in California?)
But we weren’t changed from the outside in, we were changed from the inside out, by the blood of Christ. Isn’t that what we *really* want for our neighbors and friends? That they come to Christ and be reborn? Not that they’re pleasant to live with, but that we can live with them forever in Heaven?
I think we can still freak them out – but we need to freak them out by being so blindingly full of Christ that we are truly *not* of this world, and that we do indeed (thank you Maeve) make them want what we have. Make them uncomfortably aware that we are different – not because of our rules, but because of our hearts.
And sometimes they won’t like that. And sometimes they’ll hate it at first and then come ’round. And none of their response to us being full of Christ is our responsibility – just our being filled with Him and getting out of His way in what He chooses to do in our lives – and the lives of those around us. We’re only called to live His love.
Let’s do this. 🙂