Something has really been on my heart lately. I have been thinking about faith, Christianity, religion, and the church. Honestly, I think we are missing something. Where is Jesus? So much of our lives- that is those that confess to believe in Christ and therefore call themselves Christians- are not consumed by Christ. I write this with an extremely heavy and convicted heart.
You see the thing is that if we truly have become believers and that if we truly are Christlike, then that means something very simple -not necessarily easy- we are to be like Jesus, in word and deed. I write all of this with a very heavy heart knowing that I am guilty of not having Jesus at the center of my life, at least not always. I am guilty of being selfish, vain, proud, judging, but also lacking in faith, trust, commitment, and discipline in my walk with Jesus. I have heard fellow Christians talk about church and how it has to be done one way to be right, or its wrong if this happens. I have heard judgment from one church to another. Then I remember…the Church is comprised of imperfect people that have all supposedly encountered Christ. I am not saying that in judgment, I am saying that because the Church is where Christians should be found.
What I have been pondering lately are these two questions: What does it really look like to encounter Christ? If I have encountered him, what does that mean for me? As I write these questions I am reminded of my reasoning for having them. I struggle with the things I listed above. I am terribly imperfect, yet I strive to become more like Christ in spite of my failings. This I know- I have met Christ because I am most certainly not who I was. Though I still struggle, I am new, and made new every day. However something greatly bothers me. As the Church- but more as believers on the individual scale- should not we each encounter Christ personally and let him change us? Renew us? Strengthen us? Purify us?
I am exhausted. Not physically, not mentally, not emotionally, but communally. I am exhausted by being around believers, Christians that say that have encountered Christ yet their words are nothing but gossip, lies, slander, hatred, judgment. I am exhausted by the coarse joking and profanity from Christians. Should not our lips speak love and uplift? Should not our conversations speak life instead of death? I am exhausted from the lack of separation from things that are unfitting for Christians. Should we not strive for purity and holiness? I am exhausted from the vanity, pride, and arrogance from Christians. Should we not build God’s kingdom instead of our own? I understand that I am responsible for this just the same. I have to take responsibility for my own actions, words, and behaviors. But I want to let Christ renew me and remake me. I want to let him change my heart and purify my mind. If then we have encountered Christ, then he will work in our lives completely. If then we have encountered Christ, it will affect our churches and families. Compassion, love, kindness, gentleness, self-control, purity, integrity, and holiness are just some of the attributes that we should have once we have encountered Jesus. We may be works in progress but will be progressing…toward becoming more like Christ every day.