I've said it before and I'll say it again now: I'm not here to reach only a Christian audience. But for this week, I have something to say to my brothers and sisters of the church (note: everyone is still welcome to read it, obviously).
I love Jesus with my whole heart. He is my life, my power source, the reason for my existence and anything good that I do or say. To me, he is a very real person who influences my thoughts and decisions. I'm far from perfect in my love for him, but he is perfect in his love for me. He holds me up, he dries my tears, he disciplines me when I stray, he lifts me when I fall (and that's often), and makes me laugh like no other person can. Don't take any of this the wrong way - he is still my God, my Creator, the All-Powerful, the Holy Savior of mankind in my heart. Sadly, many Christians are not quite there in their relationship with him.
To some Christians, Jesus is only God, Creator, All-Powerful, Holy Savior. He is this unreachable, untouchable, grim figure standing on a hill with an ethereal glow and outstretched palms in their minds. To suggest he is otherwise is sometimes considered blasphemy. "How do you know?" you say, "isn't that a little judgmental?" I know because I was one of these Christians, and I have known Christians like this. To hear that Jesus could have cracked a joke, or laughed until his stomach hurt, or raced John to the door and let him win a couple times was simply appalling to me! How could you think that of our Righteous Father? He was focused on saving mankind from sin every minute of his 33 years! To me, Jesus never had fun, never had a personality. He was untouchable. Christians - if this is the Jesus you believe in and so ardently defend, you believe in the wrong Jesus. He became one of us, a human, to be close to us. He wants intimacy and affection just as much as he wants our worship and respect.
If you share in this love affair with your Savior, Creator, and Friend, don't let your love grow cold. Don't let it become mechanical and mundane. Let's take a warning from Revelation 2:2-5, "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." ...Said Jesus. So basically, if we don't have a passionate, intimate love for Jesus, our flawless benevolence, our unfailing commitment, and our moral purity mean nothing. Not a thing. Because our reason for doing anything good should be the love in our hearts for and from Jesus.
All this said, know that I love you, church, even in my imperfect ability to love. I pray for the day when we all can see clearly the full personality of the One who made us and knows us. And if you don't believe in all this, if Christianity "really isn't your thing," know that I wish it was, and we will try to love you in our imperfect ability to love. Because that's what Jesus really did.
Published by Christina Rowland