Do you ever just wonder how you are viewed by other people? Or even recognize the way you view everyone else?
I have realized that over time and as I have gotten older I am more self-conscious of myself, becoming more aware of the ways I act and the words I say. Though in some ways this has been a positive in my life it has also brought about some negatives. My own observations of myself over time have affected how I view others. I catch myself seeing the things that I need to fix but, then justifying my actions as I compare myself with what I see is wrong in other people. The thoughts that run through my mind vary from, “Well at least I’m not like him,” or “She swears she acts like a Christian.” What this does is it creates a misguided idea that through our actions God will look at us and approve of me more than someone else. When we accept and function through this viewpoint, people are no longer people. They are created into these “projects” that we, the “good” Christian people, need to fix. We feel that if we can get those people coming to church, involved in a small group and do our best to change them that we can add another badge to our “Good Christian Sash.”
The Gospel never calls us to fix other people. We have been called to spread the news that Christ died for all sinners and in His grace we can be saved. When we create the idea that we can fix ourselves or even the crazier idea that we can fix others we do an injustice to the gift of the gospel in our lives. In the world we live in people want love. Much of the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and even the books we read come back to the theme of an individual or individuals desiring to be loved. As our culture has elevated the desire of love or being loved to such heights, we, as the church, often fail to pay enough attention to this need. People aren’t looking to be fixed and people don’t want to be the church’s projects. People are desperately searching for love and acceptance.
When we create the idea that we can fix ourselves or even the crazier idea that we can fix others we do an injustice to the gift of the gospel in our lives.
We see in scripture that Jesus had twelve disciples that he became very close with in His three years of ministry. As he began building relationship with these men what you don’t see is Jesus nitpicking or looking for things that needed to be fixed in these men. This is not to say he did not hold his disciples accountable, that he did not correct them. What you do see is Jesus inviting these men, as they were, to join Him to see and taste the Gospel. Christ built relationships with these men by living the Gospel in their presence because He was the Gospel. Christ’s love radiated in all that he did. In every miracle and in every action He did, love was at the centerpiece of that action.
Through Jesus’s life twelve men’s lives were changed forever. What changed these men was a love so deep, so true and so transformative that no movie or song can depict it or do it any justice. This idea that we as a church or individual believers can fix others is false. Worse yet, it is a lie. Though we can guide people to the one who can fix them, in ourselves, we are not the ones that will do the fixing. These actions and sins of ourselves and others that we often believe we can fix on our own have already been fixed. Fixed on a cross 2,000 years ago. Jesus the Christ fixed all the cracks in our lives. He made all our paths straight, and has made all our empty cups overflow. What we as a church see as “projects” are simply other people looking for love who can only be satisfied in His grace and His mercy. By His grace, mercy, and love people no longer have to hold on to the burden of their own sin, in Christ’s death and resurrection all are able to be made new and find new hope and satisfaction into life with Jesus Christ.
As Jesus Christ loved, we love. People aren’t projects. Christ died receiving all as they were, inviting them into His grace to savor the Gospel. So, as we live our our faith let’s look at those who cross paths with us as God’s children. Children who are loved just as much by the Father as we are loved.