Thursday, April 7, 2011

Those judgmental Christians

I've been thinking lately about how Christians are perceived, and what my part is in that perception. Do I put my money where my mouth is?

I'll be honest and say that I tend to stay out of conversations involving politics & hot-button topics such as abortion or homosexuality. I know what the Bible says about these and I know what I believe, but I really hate debating people. I suck at debating, hence why I like to write. I can revise & edit before putting something out there, whereas my big mouth can get me into trouble.

I was talking to a brother in Christ recently, a man I like and respect but who has completely different political views than I do. Most of the time this doesn't bother me, because he's a Christian. To me that means my time is better spent trying to witness to someone bound for hell, rather than convince him that he's wrong about a specific political point. I know that there are those who are called by God to be involved in politics, but I'm just not one of them. My dad is super passionate about his political views, and I think that's great. It's just not my thing.

I was reading this article: The Key to Changing Judgmental Attitudes in the Church
It was very timely for me, since I was feeling this way already, but wondering if I was just chickening out. There's a verse in Romans that says we should do what we can to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18). I took this to heart a few years ago, and found that it fits nicely with living in recovery. I did what I could to make amends, but also left some people off my list that I knew would only cause me more pain. Step 9 asks us to make amends, but only when to do so would not injure that person or others. I'm part of the 'others'.

The article's closing line was this, "So, again I ask, what is better: to criticize wrong, or not to do the good that we ought to do? Let’s make our lives more characterized by what we stand for, not what are against."

I don't believe that it's a black & white issue; that we can pick our battles when it comes to politics or theological debate. But I know that I have no peace when I'm involved in that stuff, and that I find I am much more effective for Christ if I am focused on being of service to others, and showing them the love of Jesus.


BucksCountyFolkArt said...

Joyce Meyer teaches that we're all called and gifted to do our own special service. So many times we try to do things God isn't calling us to do. Even if our intentions are good, if it's not in God's will, we won't have the grace to do it. It'll be our works, not Gods. Sounds like you want to focus on what you're called to do. Nothing wrong with that!

Shay said...

great points, Jill, thanks!