Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Box

Look for God and you will surely find God.  It's a principal Christan's live by.  Unfortunately it is more times than not put in an unfair, unrealistic, and illogical box.  This box is an ugly thing, a cruel thing.  It is something that some Christan's hide behind to justify behaviors like, boycotting businesses, writing people off, and sometimes even avoiding entire areas of their city all in the name of righteousness and holiness.

So what is this box?  Simply put, it is the thoughts and actions that say, "Look for God and you will surely find God but only as long as your opinions and views on life line up exactly with ours."  It says you can say or do A, B, or C but cannot say or do X, Y, or Z.  It's "our way or the highway to hell..."  Some Christians have tried to put God in this box;  they've tried to make it seem like God waits until you get your life together and get all the answers before He allows you to even start looking for Him.  The bible teaches that we should,

 "Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with - even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently."  Romans 14:1 (The Message)

It also teaches people to be so open with each other that we confess our sins, our weaknesses to each other.  But this is rarely done because we've created a box that says "Get right this very second and agree with our opinions or you're not welcome in God's house."  So instead of being themselves the few who do enter churches often put on this mask and pretend like everything is okay.  Instead of having freedom to openly discuss the things that they struggle with or disagree with or things they're unsure on they bottle it all up, causing themselves stress, frustration, and sometimes even depression.  Meanwhile outside the church "walls" it feels far more freeing, accepting, and understanding.  Maybe you were raised in a Christan home. Maybe you were taught from a young age what is and isn't right.  That's awesome if that's how you grew up but other people aren't you (And on a side-note that doesn't exempt you from seeking God as well and truly making a decision for yourself).
I'm not making excuses for people's wrong behavior.  And yes, Jesus Christ did tell people to "Go and sin no more."  But realize this: Jesus was regularly found eating with sinners and visiting them at their houses.  Do you really think while there He was constantly pointing out everything wrong they were doing?  Do you think He was sitting there on a couch with a picket sign that said turn or burn?

What I think it boils down to is people are so focused on the wrong things.  Instead of focusing over a person truly finding the peace of God in their life, they're worried about them behaving correctly.  Instead of being focused on showing people that there's real love in the world, they're focused on trying to find (out of context) bible verses that prove they have a right to judge others.  Instead of being focused on the fact that God wants to welcome all, they're worried what their church looks like to other Christians.  This box that says people have to get "it" (whatever that is anyway) right away has to be done away with.  Someone once said, "It's impossible to look upon the glory of God and leave unchanged."  I believe that to be true.  But I can speak from experience that sometimes that change can take a very long time... and sometimes unexpectedly we find that it is ourselves that need to change.  Don't rob others of the journey they need to go on.  Just help them along the way.
Look for God and you will surely find God PERIOD...  No box.