I don't like posting on things that I am currently wrestling with because I am the type of person who wants to have the answer perfectly in order before writing it down; however, I feel that these thoughts have to be released today. I have just finished "The Shack" by William Young and I am currently reading "Messy Spirituality" by Michael Yaconelli and there is a deep theme in both of those books that speaks of how God is much more interested in our relationship to Him than He is in us getting all the rules right. Now this really cuts against the grain of how I am shaped, but what fascinates me is how God is right now, every day, testing me in this same area. Am I going to yell at my child for breaking something, or am I going to offer forgiveness and love and establish a deeper relationship? Am I going to be determined to be right in front of my wife even if it means a heated argument, or am I going to forfeit that right and establish a deeper relationship? Am I going to condemn someone for falling short of God's law, or am I going to establish a relationship? Am I going to take God's place as judge, or am I going to take my place as a bridge helping people who are standing on one side of the chasm away from God and lead them to Him? Am I going to speak words of criticism and judgment, or am I going to speak words of hope and healing? I am not talking about "tolerance" here and I am not talking about condoning evil. I am talking about living like Jesus amongst evil and REDEEMING it (that word means to free something into life by the way) instead of bashing evil to death and in the process bashing people to death. The choice is simple: life or death? The power and the love it takes to choose life and relationship is the hard part, but only if I try and do that on my own. In fact, it is impossible to do that on my own. Jesus, let Your love flow through me and nothing else. Let Your truth flow, let Your life flow. It is only through Him that we can live this out.
One more thing that I have to say. I read one of the most profound things I have read in a long time last night. Mr. Yaconelli wrote, "People who pretend have pretend relationships." WOW. No wonder our world is full of people who feel hopeless. We live in a society (especially in church society) where we pretend to have it all together. My most hated question in church is "How are you doing" and the response "Fine". It is time for transparency because only in transparency are real relationships built. Only in transparency can the church finally become a people who actually ATTRACT others instead of repel them or, even worse, reject them. It is time. It is time. IT IS TIME.