Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Does Love Require of ME?

In today's post I want to share some stuff with you - stuff that has nothing to do with art, although it's message will most likely end up on a canvas or in a journal at some point. This "stuff" really touched me where I live and has made me question How I live. I hope you will stick around and read this and that it will make you also think a little bit. If not, trust me we will return to our regular format full of art and pictures soon and I hope you will come back.

A couple of months ago I started watching Andy Stanley on Sunday mornings while I got ready for church. Andy is the son of Charles Stanley, a preacher I remembered from when I was young. I had no idea that the elder Stanley had a son, let alone that he was a preacher like his father. I have grown quite fond of his teachings and find them so applicable to everyday life. He has an easy going, somewhat humorous, yet intelligent delivery. Andy typically teaches in series, building each week on the theme from the week before. About 2 weeks ago I missed a message but I found that you can watch his series online on his website. I was thrilled to be able to catch up. Then I started to poke around his website and found that he has a whole bunch of his messages available to watch and learn from.

I started watching an 8 part message that was simply called "Christian" with the subtitle "It's not what you think". I was surprised at one of his first statements about being a Christian, it was both controversial and true. Here is what he said "Christians are judgmental, homophobic, moralists that think they are the only ones going to heaven and secretly relish the fact that that everyone else is going to hell.' WOW!!!! that is a tough statement to swallow as a Christian. But then, after I caught my breath, I realized that is how lots of us Christians are viewed (and sadly how some act). In fact I personally have been called "ignorant, uneducated and weak" because of my faith and I have lost friends because of my relationship with God.

So, how do we change this perception? How do we as Christians clean up our reputation of being judgmental, ignorant and weak? We do it with LOVE! Jesus Christ Himself told us this in John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” 

This begs another question - What Does Love Require of ME?
1. Don't do anything that will hurt you - Why? Because when you hurt yourself you hurt your Father in heaven who loves you!
2. Don't do anything that will hurt someone else - Why? Because when you hurt others you hurt your Father in heaven who loves everyone as much as He loves you!
3. Don't be mastered by anything - Why? Because when you are mastered by something it keeps you from loving someone!
In short, it is way more important that people see how we Behave (do what Jesus did) than to hear what we Believe!

So why am I telling you all of this? I guess mostly because it has changed the way I view my role as a "Christian". My job is not to make you Believe like I do - my job is to Love you like HE does! So to all of my non-Christian friends, I apologize if I share more of my beliefs and less of my love with you. And to my Christian friends I beg you to think, as I have about what people believe we as Christians are. Let's change our reputation!

till we meet again. . . 

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