An old favorite, Drift Away by Dobie Gray, cycled up on the iPod today.
Day after day I’m more confused
So I look for the light in the pouring rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose
I’m feelin’ the strain, ain’t it a shame
Those lyrics cause me to reflect on the millions of emotionally lonely and hurting people in a country of ridiculous wealth. I have a heart for wounded people and especially those wounded by the church. I regularly receive notes from people who have left the church because of ugly experiences with people who claim the title of Christian. I can’t dispute those folks’ claim to a relationship with Jesus. But they surely are not acting like Jesus taught His followers to act.
Only when we love others sacrificially can our message be received. Paul described how that looks.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:9-16, NLT)
Saint Francis of Assisi wonderfully observed that we should “preach the gospel at all times…if necessary, use words.” I have personally witnessed the power of letting the gospel message flow out of loving actions and not out of condemnation and judgement.
Sorry for the detour. Back to Dobie Gray.
Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
I guess all of us are looking for something to free our souls. I have found that in Jesus. We can look at the same evidence for faith and reach a different conclusion. Eventually it comes down to a step of faith. I examined the issue and decided that God exists. Then I examined what that means in my life. I came to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to redeem me.
A final note to anyone who finds this site and believes that believes that all Christians are judgmental and mean. Some are. But if you want a place of grace filled and honest discussion I hope you will become a regular here. We have much to discuss.
My latest book, Waking Up Slowly, can be used as a 21 Day Journey to become more connected with God, one another and yourself.
No resolutions…just grace suggestions based on God’s Word. Would you join me on that journey in 2018? Click here to check it out.