I began this thought thread yesterday but wanted to marinate on it a bit before diving into a specific example of how Christians in America can be confusing, even hypocritical. And it’s a group I identify with, so when I say Christians in America, I’m saying “we/us.” Me, too. We want to declare God’s truth and grace when it’s convenient. Our own understanding or comfort seems to be more important than seeking God’s wisdom. We apply the Bible verses we want to apply to a situation or person instead of living out God’s character in its fullness. Of course, we’re going to fall short of fully representing him, but I think we’re doing less than falling short. I think we’re letting more pride than we want to admit drive us.
For example, this country was built on creativity and sound work ethic. I think we can connect such things to God. He is the Creator, and he made us in his image, so we have some creativity within us. And he values commitment. Our relationship with him is one of pursuit. But we misconstrue his creativity when we try to do things our own way, and we distort pursuit and commitment when we become consumed with the wrong things.
We also distort his intentions when we become creative to the degree we isolate ourselves and divide ourselves from others. I’m not referring to discernment and healthy boundaries of community but the fervent divisiveness we seem to be sustaining. What are we thinking? Shouldn’t we be the examples of humility, living examples of the ability to have conversations with people with respect, listening well, instead of jumping to conclusions and accusations? What has happened?
I know, many will say, “But that’s how they are handling it! This is the only way to get to truth. Someone has to speak up. Once they stop such-and-such, so will I!”
Lowest common denominator faith application is not helpful. It’s not true. It’s not what God intends.
God created us for community, and when we separate ourselves prematurely without the attempt to listen and bridge gaps, what precedent do we set? What habits are the younger generations seeing? How fervently are we pursuing and living out what God intends? How much humility is being shoved out because of our lack of empathy and selfishness?
Quite a bit, I think.
But we can be better. You and I. Let’s do it.