Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One of them

I talked with a man earlier this week who was incredibly excited about Thanksgiving this year. He told me about his plans several times during the course of our conversation before I realized there was something unusual about them. He was going to the house of a man who, by most anyone's estimation, should, at the least, strongly dislike him. Before I thought, I asked him about it. "I wonder why he's okay with you coming." Without a moment's hesitation, he gave me the answer. "Oh, he don't mind me coming. He's one of them Christians," he said. "You know, they love everybody, and they don't hold none of the bad things you've done against you."

He preached a sermon that sent me to my knees with those two simple sentences. I've thought about them ever since. This Christian man had taught him more about the character of Christ than a thousand sermons ever could. The Christian man had faced an extremely emotional, painful situation and chosen to act like Jesus. It was just that simple.

It grieves me that I am astounded. The behavior of one good man was presumed to be the behavior of all Christians. What if it were? What difference would it make in our world. Judging by this man who is excited about Thanksgiving, it would make a huge difference. 

I have good news for which I am extremely grateful. One Christian has already chosen to love like Jesus. He has started by loving the unlovely and overlooking faults, and his actions have already affected countless lives, including yours. Tonight, I'm inviting you to join with this godly man and choose to live and love like Christ. Do the hard thing even when you'd rather not. People are judging Christ by your behavior, by my behavior.  Let's make sure we represent Him with the same love and kindness He has shown to us. Maybe one day everyone will say, "Oh, those Christians, they love everyone and they never hold the bad things they've done against them". Until then, let's live like it's true.