Broken Image Bearers
Yup. We went there. Sunday we dove into our newest series- Why Christians are Annoying. I think it's important for us as believers to own the facts. We can't live with the blinders on thinking that Christians have a good reputation in the world. We have to admit to ourselves that Christians aren't really seen in the best light and we need to own that in large part, that's on us.
And yet God has asked us to represent Him.
Which leads to the question: If Christians are so bad at representing God, why did He ask us to do it? I mean, think about it. Think about your week. How often this week in the things you did and said, in how you spent your time and money, did you represent Christ well? I mean, really well? We aren't the best at this! And yet God insists that we be His representatives here on earth. What's up with that?
I think it all comes down to Relationship. It all comes down to Love.
John 3:16 tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus. In John 15, Jesus tells us that there is no greater love that can be shown than when a person lays down their life for a friend. And then Jesus tells us in John 13 that the world should know us by our love. And that's the problem. I think the reason we are so bad at this is because we don't love like Jesus loved.
For example, we are supposed to love our neighbors, right? When was the last time you had your neighbors over for supper, just because? So often, we ignore our neighbors. But even when we do choose to have them over, how often are we guilty of treating them more like a project than like a friend? People aren't project. People are just people. And they can sense the insincerity that accompanies being treated like a project, and they have no time for it.
Don't know where to begin? Try this. Just like the person. Be interested in them. Get to know them for who they are. And share with them who you are. The presentation of the gospel should be an extension of you sharing your life with them, not a strategic plan that you are trying to implement on them. I love the words of Reggie Joiner:
“People will never believe you love them if they feel you don’t like them.” @ReggieJoiner
Boom. Enough said. We are not broken image bearers because we fall short of perfection. We are broken image bearers because we fall short of love.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT).