Spiritual

Dear Christians, Stop Wrecking Grace: “No Matter Where You Stand, History Is Being Made”

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I don’t usually share interactions I have with others, but I felt this was a good learning tool for us all. I always say I’m a work in progress, and I think we should all strive each and every day to grow into the people God intended us to be. I read a classic devotional just this morning that stated, “it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purposes,” (Oswald Chambers). With that in mind I keep my heart open to how I might most emulate Jesus.

I recently shared this image on social media.

The original poster wrote, “no matter where you stand, history is being made, and that brings me to tears.”

It also touched my heart to see this powerful image. The fact is that women, and especially women of color, have not been afforded the same opportunities in this country. To witness such gains is a sight to behold. There are many things in (of) this world that are not right, and racism and unequal rights are one.

Not long after sharing this post I started receiving political comments. Yes, Kamala Harris is a Democrat and Vice President elect, but I wasn’t fishing for a political argument when I shared this. Sometimes I forget that we all see things in a different light.

One friend on my post said, “it’s a shame that a woman that wants to legalize prostitution and murder the unborn is praised and admired.”

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To which I replied, “it’s not necessary to comment negatively on a post where I’m celebrating and supporting friends of color (and all women) who have finally (after way too long) obtained a well-respected government office. I think perhaps that’s a problem with society today, and sadly the breakdown of Christianity and its witness to a lost world. We cannot manage to hold onto our values without crushing others. I am a pro-life lover of Jesus. I also support minorities as Jesus commanded. The wonderful thing about life is we can do multiple things. I choose to do my multiple things in love.”

My friend ended up replying that she wasn’t against women or minorities, that I must have misunderstood her. And here’s the thing, I never thought she was. I assumed her passion for politics and pro-life issues caused her to comment negatively about the VP. The problem is, many people do misunderstand our intentions when we polarize issues. So I wanted to share a few things I truly believe in my heart and spirit to be true.

You can disagree with someone politically, yet still love them. To love them is to give them worth. To love them is to see them as God sees them, and to understand they are made in His image whether they realize it or act like it. One friend commented she’d be happier if Kamala was a Godly woman. I would too. But as I told my friend, perhaps we can pray for her. We can pray that God will place a loving person in her path who shines the light of Jesus rather than condemning her for where she is in this life.

There are more than two sins in the Bible. Murder (abortion for the Conservative) and Homosexuality aren’t God’s top agenda for 2021. People forget this, but pride is a sin. Sorry, Mr. Trump. Rage is a sin. Dang, that’s half of my Facebook timeline. Greed is a sin. But I’m sure that’s not behind anyone’s stance on taxes, government aid, or immigration. Sorry, that was sarcasm. Like I said, I’m still working on me.

My point is, you cannot hold firm to one topic of this world and let that be your guiding force. You cannot decide to spew hateful comments, ridicule people, or allow other sinful behavior just because someone’s value system isn’t like yours. If you think this world needs Jesus, then show them Jesus. Turn the other cheek, give your coat when they ask for your shirt, touch the lepers, feed the hungry, stand up for the marginalized, and let all that you do be done in love. Eat with prostitutes and sinners, and show them unconditional love. Love the Lord with all your heart, and love others as yourself.

It’s ok to be a Christian and still love minorities. You can support your friends who say, “black lives matter” because they do! You can lay down politics long enough to answer back, “yes, your life does matter. I’m sorry people have made you feel like it doesn’t.”

It’s ok to love people who don’t have the same moral compass as you. Again, how do we love? Not by condemnation or judgment, but by esteeming them with worth. We are all children of God. Like I tell my girls, “just because your sister makes you mad doesn’t mean you aren’t sisters. You can’t say you hate her. You can’t speak ugly things to her. You’re sisters.”

Jesus said He didn’t come to judge the world, but to save it. If you’re a Christian then you believe salvation comes through belief in Christ. So, how do we lead others to this saving grace? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not by building a ‘me against them’ mentality. It’s not by voting red, blue, or anything else. I have never seen such worldly thinking as this year. This earth is not our home. An election isn’t our eternity, and a president isn’t our savior. Our eternity is life with the Lord, and our commission here on earth is to tell people this good news. Y’all! We’re failing miserably. We are alienating the lost. We’re killing our witness. We are wrecking the gift of grace by not showing it at all. We must do better.

I don’t even know how to end this post, and when I don’t know what to say, I just pray.

God, help us. Speak your truth to our hearts. May we abide in mercy, and extend that to those hurting around us. May we lay down pride, and see your love for each person we meet. May we arise at the end of this fiery year as a new and better church, a bride who has her eyes fixed on her groom, not on the font of the wedding invitations. May we remember our end goal of victory, and not fuss over who all is and is not playing according to all the rules. You are the ultimate referee making those calls. May we remember that. But mostly, Lord, make us extravagant lovers, the kind of people who would lay down their life, even for the sinners who don’t deserve it. Because we are all the undeserving, yet you loved us anyway. Remind us to extend that same grace and light of love each day. We’ve forgotten.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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