Our pastor of worship arts gave a great message over the weekend. I've been pondering his words for the past few days.
He spoke about Christians living in a bubble and how we need to step out from that bubble. And when we step out of that bubble, how are we perceived?
I think it's a matter of finding the balance. We need our "Christian bubble" for encouragement, support, to learn and grow as Christians, and to go deep in our friendships. We need that fellowship.
But with our jobs, our hobbies, heck, even at the grocery store, we're going to run into people of different faiths, different lifestyles and some who very decidedly are not Christians.
So, how do these other people perceive us? If you think about the perception of Christians in general, do you think that perception is positive? I think we all know the answer to that.
Growing up, I remember a song from church: "They will know we are Christians by our love..."
What's one of the most well-known verses in the Bible: "Love one another."
Are we missing that message these days? If you run across someone living a lifestyle you know is contrary to God's word, how do you treat them?
You may immediately counter with how we are being treated. That's not the point. In all our dealings with people in our lives, we should be courteous, kind and most of all respectful. Whether you agree or disagree with their views, actions, lifestyle, religion -- don't you think we'll get farther in our relationships and in our ability to plant some seeds, if they are planted with kindness and respect?
I know Christians are supposed to share the good news of the Bible. Yet, our calling may not be to change people right there on the spot. For me personally, I believe that I plant more seeds, show Christ's love more abundantly by how I live my life and how I treat others.
If I am kind, considerate and respectful -- won't that give a better image of "Christian" than showving my views down someone's throat? I don't like when someone shoves their views at me. How do you want to be treated?
Again, it's a balance. And it's a thin tightrope to walk. But I believe in the old saying "Kill 'em with kindness."
Personally, I want someone to know "we are Christians by our love."