Stop Using Jesus

Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters,

We need to talk. I need to share my concerns over the current state of Christianity in America. This talk is not meant to attack the Church or my fellow believers in Jesus Christ. But I feel, I need to share my concerns. Did you catch that? My concerns. My opinions. My thoughts.

When I study scripture, I see a God who is loving, forgiving and stern when the situation calls for it. I see a God who is full of grace and mercy. I think we could all use a little grace and mercy. As I study scripture, I see a lot of Love. There is even a chapter in the Bible called the Love Chapter (Check out 1 Corinthians Chapter 13). Jesus commands us to love. To keep no record of wrongs. To be patient. To not boast. To not be rude. If you check out the books of Matthew and Mark, they talk about not judging others. As I have studied the scriptures, I still have not found a section where it says we should be judging or hating others.

In some circles, Christianity as become more about what we hate and less about what we love. That breaks my heart. More importantly, it breaks Jesus heart. When did Jesus give us permission to start categorizing the levels of sin? Or to hate someone based on their brand of sin? Once again, I looked through scripture and did not find any giving us that permission. Sin is sin. Jesus  is not up in heaven categorizing sin. I do believe Jesus is shedding some tears because we judge people more harshly based on their brand of sin. I totally get why some people want nothing to do with this brand of Christianity and why so many people walk away from Jesus. Have you turned on the tv, scrolled through social media or walked  into some churches lately? Some people have turned Christianity into a bad Jerry Springer Show. I know the Church is full of broken people, but we must do better. We share we love Jesus and his teachings, but our actions and words show a completely different story. We cannot only talk the talk of faith, we must live it out. The Church and it’s people need to be a safe place for other broken people to come. In Mark 2:17, Jesus shares “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Did you catch that? 

I truly love the Church and it’s people. I have spent over half of my life in the church. I have spent over half of my life reading and studying scripture. That is why it grieves me, that so many professed Christians spend more time judging others than they do loving them. Jesus did not come down from heaven, die on the cross and rise three days later so we could judge others. No, Jesus came down from heaven, died on the cross and rose three days later to teach us the true meaning of love. So dear Christian brothers and sisters, lets stop using Jesus to judge and spread hate. Instead let us be a people of love, forgiveness and grace. ~OC

 

 

The Gift of Brokenness

Sometimes I feel broken.

There are times I look at my life and see all the ways I fall short. Maybe it was my negative attitude or words that negatively affected someone else.

There are so many ways to feel broken- physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. In the middle of our brokenness, it’s easy to agonize over whether or not we can ever be acceptable to God or be used by Him during our brokenness. I know I struggle with this sometimes.

During this crazy beautiful health journey, God has taught me a valuable lesson about being broken.

Our brokenness is a gift. A gift? Yes, a gift because our brokenness connects us to other people walking through their own brokenness. A gift because our brokenness brings us closer to God. It is during our brokenness that God makes us whole.

Sharing our brokenness brings meaning and healing to our crazy beautiful journey.

Blessings happen during the brokenness. As I have shared my health journey with others, people have reached out to me and shared how my journey has helped them walk through their own crazy beautiful journey. It has been a blessing to see God move through my brokenness.

Being broken is a gift, because through our brokenness we recognize our need for God. Because only through God can our broken life be made whole.

I am so grateful for the gift of being broken. During my brokenness God has continued to love me and use me in spite of my brokenness. What a gift.

My prayer for you is that during your brokenness, you will look to God and allow Him to use you during this time. I pray you will find the gift of brokenness as God puts your broken pieces back together. ~OC

A Question For Us

Today’s a new day! Jesus left all his comfort and privilege to enter into our broken world. Are we willing to do the same? ~OC

For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” ~Matthew 25:35-40

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