“The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless but is the ruin of those who do evil.” Proverbs 10:29 (NIV)
I often find it fascinating how one thing can be both a blessing and a curse depending where you come at it from. Jesus is a stronghold and a stumbling block.
The Law is a protecter to those that are innocent and a punisher for those that are in the wrong.
Money, is expendable to some, yet is desperately needed by others.
Food is just a source of sustenance, yet for others is a deathtrap to those who over do it.
The Internet and iPhone are great mediums to connect the world, yet it is a snare for those who can’t control their usage.
The Church is a place of deliberate connection with God to those who engage within it yet it a place of uselessness to those who just ‘attend’.
The Bible is a book of Love to those who follow it, yet is a book of condemnation if not read properly.
Jesus is our Saviour if we live through him, yet he is the stumbling block that will have you lost for all eternity if you miss his point.
We live in a ‘polarised’ world, a world of left or right, two party prefered politics, we are socially in or out, etc. it is so hard to keep up with what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. The bible is confusing like that as well, how much of our life is ‘wrong’ in the eyes of the bible and how much of it can be shrugged off without risk of being ‘lukewarm’. Are we called to live exactly as the bible states (including all the old testament rules) or is an element of interpretation required to make the right choice? How often are we choosing the ‘wrong’ way? How often are we ‘interpreting’ it to suit us? How often does Jesus reflect our image instead of us reflecting his?
I have recently had a few chats with people how have been turned away from church due to actions of other Christians (Sadly, I would be willing to bet that most of the 94% of the Australian population that are non regular church attenders fit this category). No doubt some people need to harden up a bit and just look past and avoid the stupid Christians and focus on Jesus instead but there are some who have legitimately been scarred by judgmental Christians who set a law they themselves can’t follow (I even know of people who wont come to church because someone who attended the church offended them but still wont come even when the offending person has not been for 3 years as well).
I have written about this before but, What we as Christians forget is that we are not perfect ourselves and we have a few ‘planks’ to remove before we can even look at anyone else clearly. We live in this mixed up society too and I can guarantee even the holiest among us don’t get it ‘right’ every time.
For me the example of Jesus is my benchmark, I will never achieve it but at least I know I have the right role model to follow, he adapted to the times he was in, he let go of everything that was a ‘rule for the sake of a rule’, he was radical but never let go of integrity, he looked past the words and saw the meaning. Jesus was relational, he couldn’t ‘be’ love without ‘showing’ love. I’m terrible at being ‘socially relational’ (in other word ‘friendly’) but in terms of judgement I try to keep my condemning focused on my own sin before I aim it at others. Even if you are a judgemental Christian, I am not trying to condemn you for being judgemental, because I myself have not attained ‘Jesus perfection’ to claim that Judges hat.
So for me I am doing my best to be ‘right’, but I reckon there is a whole timber yard in my eyes to remove before I even consider forcing my ‘right’ on anyone else. Just because Jesus is a ‘refuge for the blameless’ does not mean he is an excuse and shield to be judgemental and hypocritical. None of us are blameless, none of us are perfect, none of us can wear the judges hat, in reality, none of us can claim Jesus as our refuge, because we are not blameless. Doesn’t mean we should give up though.
Walk with integrity, let Jesus do the judging.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left, turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27
“Let your Yes be Yes and Your No be No” Matthew 5:37
Just a Thought.