To The "Right" Christians, From The "Wrong" Christians
To The "Right" Christians, From The "Wrong" Christians:
To the ones who feel justified in their anger, from the ones who feel defeated by it.
BY JESSICA LAWSON
I have never been the person that needs to be right. I am the more, "whatever you need to keep the peace" kind of friend. I willingly chosen to "be" wrong, because it matters to you, friend, that you are right. And frankly, you matter to me! So I don't care that much about being wrong. Whether "I'm wrong" about little facts I don't know as well as you like musicians or calories in avocado toast. Or maybe "I'm wrong" about bigger theology things, or social justice issues that are on your heart and not mine. Whatever it is, I just wanted to say:
Dear Angry, Always Needing To Be Right, Christian...
I see you. God sees you.
You reflect some beautiful standards of God. You exult His righteous anger. You show He is worthy of high standards.
I see your loud Facebook comments pointing out the flaws in others' theologies. I see your rolling of eyes when a gay couple walks by. I see your purse of lips when THAT cousin messed up again.
Actually, that's all we see.
We don't remember the times you have helped guide some of us more liberal, charismatic Christians back to the Word.
We don't remember the times you have been the one to stick to the Bible reading plan and encourage the rest of us to pick it back up.
We don't remember the times you were faithful to bringing snack to the pot stuck when no one else remembered.
We who are hurting right now from the Church, from pastors, from church leaders, from professors, from Christian friends, from dead dreams, from misidentities, from frail passions, from just hard life....
... We only remember how you perpetuate our hurts.
Those who are experiencing REAL pain from REAL fear in what's happening in our country's current events struggle to see what verse you just posted after church. They only remember how you used scripture to condemn them online.
Those who are seeking the Lord and are choosing to not be in church right now are not going to ask for prayer from you if you jumped on them for not being in church last Sunday.
You my dear friend, you come off ungracious.
Yes, you see standards, you dwell in absolutes. You love to see in black and white. And you're really good at it.
To the point where it sharpens and betters the rest of us around you. Sometimes.
But sometimes we negate everything you say because you can not express one of the biggest attributes of the Gospel. GRACE.
The truth you are so passionately proclaiming is only half of the picture. It's a sunset in black and white. It's a choir with half the singers missing. It's a map that is half blank.
I see you "right" Christian. You use your anger as a blanket. You wrap yourself tightly in it to comfort the great injustice you see that leaves you feeling cold and alone.
But friend, there is a better comfort.
God is Judge as much as He is Savior.
He is a Creator of Justice as much as He is Breaker of Chains.
He is a sweet kind friend as much as He is a disciplining parent.
It is lonely in your room of "righteousness". It is. But God is not asking you to dwell there.
We do not have to barge into every other room of the house, that is not ours, and tell others how they are living wrong. God rarely rarely asks us to do that.
He asks us to keep the family of Christ accountable. But sweet friend, no one will listen to you, if they do not believe that you care about them first.
People are always watching yes, but it's 2018, people are always listening too. We all need the reminder to be cautious of how we use our words and our online voices. What we share is what we represent. What we argue for creates divides. And how we argue can express a Jesus no one wants to know.
The thing is, God was the most angry when He was the least of His people's priorities.
The Bible says that the Lord is a jealous God for His people.
The Bible says His righteous anger burns.
But the Bible also says that He would rather you BE hot or cold, versus lukewarm.
When you rant and rage online, or to friends, you are acting in lukewarmness. You may believe with every fiber of your being that you are being hot, not cold. But when we look at the outside, when we look at the Facebook statuses, or the Instagram bios, our God looks directly at the heart.
Your heart might be more passionate about being RIGHT than being Jesus to those in your spheres of influence. And if that is true, you are only representing half the truth. You are hurting more than you will ever help. You will be received with either another ignorant amen or a bitter unfollow.
Friend, I am rooting for you. I admire your devotion. I appreciate your knowledge of what is right, but please do not let that overcome you and make you wrong.
You can ground and check yourself in God's word each day. You can confess your anger to a friend who is a safe place to share with. You can exude self control and righteousness. Surround yourself with people who hear you, who will let you vent, but then they don't let you settle for just being angry.
The Bible says the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and SELF CONTROL. Dwell on these truths. God's word is the ultimate mirror of our heart. Hold up the mirror. Dig into His word. And let yourself experience more of God than just half of Him. Breathe in His truth and His grace.
I believe in you. I am rooting for you.
Your "Wrong" Kindred
PHOTOS BY JOHN SCHNOBRICH