Isn’t it interesting how we like to compartmentalize people. A good Mom looks a certain way, acts a certain way does certain things. A good Christian does a, b, c, and d and maybe if they are super awesome they make it all the way up to z. Sometimes, the compartments are formed by society, sometimes by the church, sometimes of our own individual making.
One of the new compartments that I have seen formed lately, with the huge success of Duck Dynasty for instance, is what makes a good Christian man. According to Duck Dynasty and their fans, good Christian men, have lots of facial hair, wear camo, and like to hunt animals and goof around a lot. I am not knocking Duck Dynasty. It just made a good example. 😉
But what if you are like one of many great men that I know, and you don’t fit any of those compartments? Maybe beards make you itch. Maybe you have no interest in hunting. Maybe you are what others might consider a geek or nerd. But you love Jesus and try to kind to everyone. Are you less? Less of a man? Less of a Christian?
When we start forming mold for people to squeeze into that they were never created for, it opens us up to judge. To lift ourselves up as superior, to look down on others, becomes our modus operandi. What a love blocker. We can not love the way we are meant to love when we are judging.
Jesus was constantly blowing the minds of people around him by doing things that did not fit the mold . Hanging out with all matter of outcasts. Healing on the Sabbath. Talking to woman at the well, who had two strikes against her. She was a woman, and she was a Samaritan. No good Jewish Man would have paid her any mind. He didn’t puff himself up as better but became the ultimate servant King.
I guess what that means to me today is that I have to remove the molds. I have to see each person as an individual fashioned in a unique and glorious way. I have to be willing to love people no matter how differently they choose to live their life from my own comfort zone. Because when I am willing to embrace grace and live under grace and not law? I can spread that life giving, soul drenching, heart repairing grace to everyone else I meet. This is a total game changer, my friends.
What if we were to see those of a different faith through the lens of Grace? Those of a different political association? Those that just plain do things differently than we do? What if instead of making jokes about going back in time and handing Billy Ray Cyrus a condom so Miley was never born? We see her as a unique and glorious creation, worthy of God’s love and our love. What if instead of continually bashing our political leaders, we kneeled down and prayed. What if instead of sticking our nose in the air at that person, that weird person that we know that does everything the “wrong way”? What if we chose to smile and show kindness? It would be world changing.
I think that the internet has, to the church in particular, revealed the ugly underbelly of judgement that pervades us. Revealing just how mean and heartless we can be to those we don’t agree with. The stuff I see church going Christians post slamming others as idiots, as so far beneath worthy, while posting bible verses the next minute? No wonder the world isn’t interested in church. Who wants to face wagging fingers, wagging tongues, looks of judgment? To the church as a whole, I say that we can do better. Rebellion of the cookie cutter people, friend. Time to break the mold.