September 28, 2011

Be the love.

I have been thinking about 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer since I heard his story as told by his parents and the Today Show. I am not sure how to properly express what is inside me about this. Bullying is wrong. Hateful words are never right.

My thoughts then lead me to how many "Christians" I have heard say hateful things about those that struggle with SSA (same sex attraction). Not only have I heard people say it, but they aren't even embarrassed, or ashamed of such cruel words pelting out of their mouths.

I think about how the Pharisee's, those that practiced religion to the law (or at least they led all their followers to believe they did), those that professed to be the best and have all the answers, were the one's that Christ had a problem with. The Pharisee's looked down on Jesus for hanging out with the "wrong" crowd. The prostitutes, the tax collectors, the women whose reputation were in serious question. He hung out with the people who needed him most. The one's who thought they had it all together, had no use for this Jesus who shared meals with the wrong crowd.

They were wrong, they were bullies. Jesus told them in scripture, Matthew 7, 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

The Pharisee's had no heart, their noses were stuck in the air, they found themselves better than the man on the street.

That is not Jesus' way. He humbles himself to serve man, He washes the feet of His friends, He stands up for a woman who is embarrassing herself to honor Him. He even says of this woman who is being looked on with disdain from the high noses around her, that, whenever the gospel was preached her story would be told.

I want Jesus' way. I want to be a lost soul that was redeemed that oozes the love of Christ, not a lost soul turned Pharisee.

As a Christian it is my desire to be formed daily more into the image of Christ. There is no desire in my heart that trumps that. The Apostle Paul prays this for those he is teaching. I wont ever be fully formed, but each day I can strive to be more like Christ. Each day I pray those words. Father God, help me be more like Christ, in word, deed, heart, wisdom and compassion. When I strive it is not of my own ability to be transformed, striving for me has now become prayer, reflection, meditation. Striving has been being committed to time with God alone for Him to do His miraculous work within me. I make myself available, He does the supernatural.

I have been the woman of questionable character that Jesus cleansed, then I became a Pharisee, that Jesus broke, now all I want is Him. That old hymn just came to mind. "Oh to be like Thee". I want to be someone who is not afraid to stand up for the oppressed, to love the unlovable, to have kind words drip from my lips not harsh and cruel.

The fruit of the Spirit is how we will know if we belong to Christ, it is how others will know they are loved by Christ through us. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Each day these words are my guide to where I am inside. Each day I am convicted of where I failed, but that is where I will pray into more and more, until my flesh nature gives way to the Giver of Life, the Giver of Love.

I didn't know Jamey. If I did and I knew he was being bullied, I would have put my hand in his and blessed him. I would have told him he was loved. I would have told him that with Christ by your side no evil can win against him. And I would have showed up. I know his parents didn't know this was happening, he had been strong for them. So what that means to me is that there might be someone who is around me that hasn't told their parents that they are really hurting, they are drowning in fear and despair. It is my job to be open to where God leads me to serve these precious souls in my path.

And now I can hear through the internet that some might read these words above and wonder when I would tell them that living a homosexual lifestyle is wrong. I can love him, but when do I tell him he needs to get his act together. I would say to you that those who struggle with SSA already know those passages; scripture and verse. They have probably heard it from at least a hundred other do gooders in their life, they already know that to be in a typical church that if they were to just "change" they would be welcomed.

Christ's love was not conditional.
Why would someone want to be like a Christian when all they do is go around putting rules on other people, holding signs to tell the world what is wrong with them, finding fault among each other and those around them.

The cool thing about Jesus is that He is the one that does the convicting and the changing. We get the awesome job of loving others. Just like Christ did with me when He became the Lord of my life, He will gently convict all of us with places we need to have his help in. Places where He can transform within us if we only will allow Him. Sometimes He leaves us with the thorn in the flesh, as He did with Paul, but that makes us no less loved. It just means that there is a message He needs to get out through us, or His timing is different than ours, in our weakness we show His strength.

Take it from me, when someone told me what I was doing wrong, I dug my feet in. When Christ called me a new direction it was a different story.

Being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control to others does not water down the message of Christ. It makes it shine and draws others to Him.

May your day be filled with the fruit of the Spirit, inside and outside.


Amber Joy said...

This is a powerful post, Tammy.
You're so right! Don't we all stubbornly dig our heals in when someone thinks we're doing something wrong?

Tammy M. said...

Thanks, Amber!