Have you ever felt tired and weary by the actions of fellow Christians?
Over this past year, I’ve been so deeply discouraged and truly saddened by the way I’ve seen followers of Jesus speak and act in relation to the world around them—in relation to fellow image bearers. My soul is heavy and tired.
Recently, I’ve shifted from a deep sense of sorrow for the way it seems Christians have moved away from the message of Jesus to anger for the way biblical truths have been misrepresented.
But this has all challenged me to internally reflect on my own faith. As much as my heart is filled with what I would like to think is righteous anger, I can’t overlook my own responsibility in the way I carry myself as an ambassador for Jesus.
I want my life to reflect his glory in every aspect of my life. I want the heart of Jesus to be my heart towards the many pressing issues that are unfolding around me. But honestly, I’ve begun to grow weary by the actions of American Christians at large. I fear our witness is being compromised for the sake of what we “feel” our lives should look like as Americans who are free. It seems as if we’re mixing our identity in Jesus with our identity as citizens of a nation.
But I don’t want to be discouraged and I don’t want to lose sight of the beauty of the body of Christ. Surely, Jesus knew we wouldn’t get it right every time.
From the Crusades to slavery, people have used Jesus to support their own agendas. I must take a moment to point out how absolutely unacceptable and far off from the heart of Jesus these events were. And the list goes on much further than these. The more I ponder on past events and even current events that are unfolding before our very eyes, I’m left asking God why do his people continue to act so egregiously in his name?
Now I can not and will not condone any of the unbiblical actions historically or currently made by Christians in the name of Jesus. But I also know it is damaging for a Christian to stay in the place of discouragement and sorrow towards fellow believers.
Here are three important truths to keep in mind when other Christians don’t remind you of Christ.
1. You Don’t Get to Make the Call on Someone’s Salvation.
In our attempts to make sense of the disconnect between a Christian’s actions and their faith, we must refrain from making the judgement that they are not saved. Scripture is clear that there are people who claim to be Christians and truly are not. But that isn’t for you to decide.
It’s the Lord’s job to separate the chaff from the wheat. It’s not our right to make predictions or claims along the way. Make no mistake. Jesus does not take lightly those who proclaim a false witness. The Kingdom of God will be purified. Judgement will come.
The imagery of the wheat and the chaff in Matthew shows how difficult it is for us to distinguish the difference. It’s not until the wheat and the chaff are full grown that a farmer can decipher what to harvest and what to burn.