Whatever You Think The Issue Is, It Probably Isn’t
The SCOTUS just ruled to allow same-sex marriage. And then people started going berserk. That pretty much sums up the last 4 days. And, while there are ramifications that should be discussed on the topic of the ruling, there is something more important we need to consider.
It’s easy, when big events like this happen to get drawn into them. It’s easy to dig in your heals on whatever side of the issue you are on and start hurling debates and arguments on people.
I understand the urge, because I find myself wanting to do the same thing. But, one thing I know for sure, is that no matter what the issue is, that issue isn’t the most important thing.
What’s the issue? People need Jesus. First and foremost. That’s the most important thing. But, when we focus on the issue first, we aren’t communicating that to people. What we are telling them is that they way they are living is wrong and they need to change.
We can’t expect people living apart from Jesus to live up to the moral standards Jesus set forth.
Why? Because we can’t even do it.
I don’t think we understand grace anymore. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. We can’t do anything to deserve God’s free gift of grace. If we could, it wouldn’t be called grace. We need to know grace. Grace is what is given to us freely, it’s what gets us into the Kingdom. And it’s also what keeps us there. It’s not just grace at one point in time, but grace as we fail every day to live up to God’s standards.
And yet, here we are, not living perfect lives, while simultaneously condemning those who aren’t living up to our standards.
We have the power of Christ in us to empower us to live according to his principles and standards. And yet we fail all the time. We are constantly being refined. We are in constant need of grace.
Do I agree with the direction our culture is going? No. In fact, I am concerned just as many of you are. And I would argue that if people lived according to God’s design, we would find a lot more peace and joy – whether they believe in him or now.
But, I can almost guarantee one thing, if we react harshly against people who don’t have the power of God in their lives for not living up to God’s standards for life, while we fail every day to live up to that same standard, we will lose whatever influence we have left.
We can’t hold an unbelieving world accountable to something they don’t believe in. That’s not our job. We can’t condemn an unbelieving world for not living up to standards we can’t live up to.
Our job is to live out the gospel, as best we can, in front of people so that they may see our good deeds and glorify our father in heaven. We live out the gospel, and we share it when we have the opportunity. Not in a condemning way, but in a gracious way.
Yes, we have to admit our sin and walk away from it when we follow Christ, but I don’t think that’s the first step of the gospel.
What’s the first step? Knowing how much God loves you. Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know that you have the opportunity to be a child of the Most-High God? That you can share in the inheritance of the King of the Universe?
I don’t think the primary motivation for putting your faith in Christ is the lifestyle we might have to give up. And as long as we start there, I think we’re going to continue to fail. As long as we start with the issue and focus on the issue and argue about the issue, we will continue to side-step the most important and primary motivation for faith in Christ.
The primary motivation for putting your faith in Christ is what you’re being invited into. And when you know what you’re being invited into, anything you have to give up pales in comparison.
So, before you get into that next argument, before you post that next article on Facebook or Twitter that says what you think needs to be said, stop and ask yourself – how are they going to respond to me? How are they going to respond to Jesus if we are pounding people over the head with a morality we fail to live up to? And most importantly, what kind of Jesus are they going to see from me as I do these things?
I wonder if we all started sharing with people about the goodness of God’s grace and what they have the opportunity to step into how differently the world might respond to Christ in us, the hope of glory?
The good thing is, it’s not too late. We can all start right now. We have hurdles to overcome. We have tremendous obstacles in our way. But, if we all start living this way, Christ will be irresistible in us. And people will be drawn to Him.
And that’s the real issue.