Showing Agape to Even Fake-Nice Christians
I love the media aids available to churches from WorshipHouse Media. They present truth in ways that grab the emotions of the audience, and thereby actually communicate the truth cognitively in a much more lasting way. Take a look at this one: An Unspoken Plea
We are called to live authentic lives as disciples. See my post way at the beginning of this blog again to recall exactly what I mean by that: Discipleship Defined
This walk is hard. I have come to a place where I do wake up remembering God and an eternal perspective as my first thoughts each morning . . . but I have not come to a place where my emotions always reflect that reality. I wake up tired and ache-y, and wishing that I was 26 instead of 43 and that I didn't have to work so hard at being able to wake up with some energy physically each day. I wake up angry at various people. I wake up with all the emotions that TRUTH changes as it brings me to face the reality of all that He has given me in this moment, and all that I have promised to me for eternity.
Sharing our faith shouldn't be hard. It doesn't take pretending that things are okay when they aren't. It just takes sharing the reality of day-in, day-out life with all its joys and all its messy-ness, and at the same time sharing the TRUTH we know from Jesus and the ways that impacts our joyful, messy lives.
But walking with difficult people is hard. I'm glad to see evidence in the gospels of Jesus' anger at the Pharisees, His anger at the merchants in the Temple, His anger occasionally at His disciples, and even His anger at a fig tree. I'm glad to see his tears at Lazarus' grave, and read in the New Living Translation of His anger then too. All those stories allow me to come to Him and feel free to be honest to Him and myself about my anger, and allow Him to move me from there to a sincere "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." He loves me enough to hear my anger before He heals it by bringing forgiveness in its place.
I loved to read at the end of Job how first God rebuked the friends who had offered such poor comfort in their lectures to sick, grieving Job . . . and then how He commanded Job to pray for them as they offered sacrifices of repentance. And out of that ritual of forgiveness, Job walked on to a restoration of all the blessings God delighted to give him . . . and in freedom to really enjoy them, because he wasn't harboring anger.
It makes me angry to watch the video I link to in my first paragraph, because my church is full of people who put on an act of being nice Christians but who aren't willing to sustain loving, honest relationships with nasty people . . .
And God points me back to all the nasty fake-nice Christians that He's calling me to model authentic agape love to today. And He forgives me for the ways I failed yesterday and already today. And He gives me His love for them. Because He does love them, enough to die for them and keep loving them even if they never get it.
May I get it.