The real reason angry marches, shame filled social media posts, and relentlessly beating someone with “research” doesn’t work.
“From the first moment a man meets another person he is looking for a strategic position he can assume and hold over him.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
He goes on to say that this alone is enough to destroy any hope of real fellowship.
So what is the answer? Bonhoeffer says that we must look at others as they truly are – people deeply loved by God. So loved that in their (our) rebellious sinful state God sent His Son to suffer and die that they (we) might have a way to be rightly reunited with God again.
If your interactions with people continually lead them to feel belittled and attacked there is a good chance you don’t see them through the right lens.
If someone you deeply love is in danger you most likely wouldn’t chase them down with a closed fist ready to strike. You chase them down with open arms. Equally, if someone you love is about to jump off a bridge you don’t stand aside and wait to clean up the mess, you desperately and lovingly work to win them over. To talk them down. Yes, we should stand for truth, but we should do it the way God modeled. In this age he sent Jesus not an army of angels to level Rome. Love your neighbor, speak for those that have little voice, give to the poor, offer a helping hand to the elderly person who lives on your block, and absolutely let them know why! Because you see them as God sees them. Loved and desired by God. I fully support standing for what you believe in, but the package, the means, the way that you deliver the truth may in fact destroy any hope of fellowship. Please Christian, share endlessly about your satisfaction in Christ and gratitude in what He has done for you! Why? Because…
Real victory is seen in your brother standing beside you, not in you standing over him.
We are absolutely called to be his witnesses. Spurgeon once said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Yet, how we go about elevating Christ is very important.
Do you see people as Christ sees them? Do you want the same end result for their life as Christ wants?
To my friends that don’t believe in Christ, here is what I say. I have placed my wholeness in Christ and I am beyond grateful. My commitment to Christ, though imperfectly lived out, continually grants an ever deepening purpose and meaning that fills me with such wonder. I don’t want to win you to my perspective so I can win a debate. I want to win you over because I want you to taste and see how good it is to bask in the grace of Christ. I want you with me.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”