Can someone explain to me why we have such a huge sense of entitlement in as far as people’s lives are concerned? Someone (let’s call them A) was slightly offended because a certain lady (let’s call her B) – who has grand kids- had painted nails and wore earrings to church. I was ticked off by the insinuation so I proceeded to ask a few questions like how B’s nails affected A’s life and a few others that may have been a bit harsh.
Here is my problem, we Christ’s church are so hell bent on making people live their lives the way we want them to live. We are so angry when brother/sister so-and-so does not take our advice to do things our way. We in fact go ahead and let them know how unhappy their disobedience makes us then rat their ‘disobedience’ in the name of prayer item. Who appointed us judge? Why are we mini-gods to whom sacrifices scented with sycophancy and bootlicking should be given? Who made us thus?!
I mean, really, does God love me less if I do not wear a skirt like yours? Does He hate me for listening to a genre of music you do not like? I do not mean that we should be lenient with sin; God isn’t. But there are some things not worth bickering over!
I can no longer shut up about my broken heart. My heart bleeds every time a friend tells me something like;
‘I walked away from church coz I felt I dint fit in. How I did stuff was always wrong according to the leader…
If being saved means demanding people and making them do things my way lest they make me unhappy meaning a highway direct to hell with their name on it is created the way so-and-so does, wacha wokovu ikae (let me remain unsaved).
I can’t tell the brethren around me about an issue coz it will be broadcast or I feel they will treat me differently …’
and so on and so forth.
My mouth is running dry from having to keep defending the body of Christ. Can any Christian reading this who has not dealt with legalistic fellow Christians raise their hand? I think most of us if not all have been hurt by brethren in one way or another. Some of us are over it and others are still nursing the wounds. I do not mean that we should not correct and rebuke each other. Actually, all this things are meant to help us grow in our faith in one way or another. However, we need to rebuke, correct and guide, lead, mentor in love. Yes, tough love can be applied (sometimes that’s the only way to get through to me, so yeah!).
Here’s my take. God expects us to love others as an expression of our love for Him. 1 John 4:7- 21 best explains this expectation. It shows us how knowing God affects our love life because God is love. Happily, God tasked Himself on defining and explaining what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. ‘Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. Love never fails.’
A preacher once gave us an exercise to reconcile the whole ‘God loves us, we love Him back so we should love others’ concept by asking us to substitute every ‘Love’ in the love verses (1 Cor 13:4-8) first with God then I. Example ‘God is patient. God is kind….’ Then ‘I am patient. I am kind. I am not rude…’
Truthfully, there are people whose greatest talent and sole purpose on earth is to get on our nerves and being mean to them leaves us satisfied and feeling justified. Sometimes we are those people and other times we have to be the ones kicking and clawing our way into loving them. As such, we need God’s wisdom to deal with every individual. We should commit every relationship to Christ for guidance. It is said hurting people hurt others. When we are wise enough to consult God when dealing with people especially difficult ones, He shows us the right way to handle them while at the same time showing God’s love to them.
To the world, I apologize on behalf of judgemental, legalistic and harsh Christians. I do not have an excuse to give for them but you should know that every person who professes Christ simply acknowledges their imperfection and knows only Christ can help them be who they are meant to be. Yes, every Christian is a work in progress and God deals with us differently. So if someone hurt you, it is because they are human and someday the Holy Spirit will convict them for doing so.
However, all the above does not mean that your bruised heart will escape hell if you do not accept Christ’s love in your lifetime. Living a somewhat kinda godly life because you are generally a nice person does not qualify you to spend afterlife trotting down the streets of gold in heaven. When you accept Christ, you begin a personal walk with Him, experiencing His love in ways that are specific to your needs.
And no, being saved is not about not doing stuff like clubbing, smoking stuff, drinking…etc. In my view, such things are prohibited because accepting God in your life means He will dwell in you. So your body becomes His home. Because He loves you just as you are, He helps you clean house to make space for Him to stay. He helps de-clutter and brings down any idols that may be in form of addictions, bad relationships etc. Jesus is the important one here and He does not expect you to come looking all sparkly and squeaky clean. All He wants is for you to allow Him help with the household chores all the while enjoying His company and having fun while at it.
And then Love, you are expected to love… and the love circle gets bigger!
Images from Google