3. Politically motivated
I couldn’t help but think how unlike the Bible these characteristics are, but I suppose we’re all guilty of them- me included. But what would it look like if we acted more like Jesus? These characteristics would show in our lives (in opposition to the ones mentioned above):
2. Patient- not looking to quickly persuade people, but answering questions based on the person’s needs. (John 4:7-26)
3. Not stereotyping a group of people (Luke 10:25-37)
4. Abandoning comforts of this world in exchange for a simple life (Luke 9:58, Matt. 6:19)
5. Very involved and caring (Matt. 9:36)
It pains me to say that I’ve been guilty of the former “ugly 5” mentioned above. But as I soak in the scriptures, hang with good Jesus lovin’ folk, pray and live out what is being gathered in my heart and mind, I think (I hope!) that the latter “lovely 5” characterize my life more and more.
But I understand why people act judgmental. I can see why people are agenda-driven. It’s because we think we’re supposed to be doing the work that God does- that is, working on people’s hearts. The fact is, we only need to live out our faith, especially in the way the “lovely 5” above describes. The rest is up to God, because He’s already working in people’s hearts, wooing who will accept Him to Himself. We can act as a good compass in the midst of all- the good, the bad, the ugly and the pretty, those who seem wild and those who seem tame.
And yes, some people will be drawn to, and some people will reject this gospel of Jesus’ death on the cross. But we are meant to love everyone. The only folks Jesus was upset with were those who were, in the name of religion nonetheless, doing an awful job of loving people and loving God. We, as reflections of Him, ought to be different; set apart, pure, truthful, loving, joyful, contagious, at peace, patient and kind. This is even possible in America, where so many are religious in the name of Jesus and don’t actually reflect Him. We can be different than that!