If Not You Then Who?

If you are a Christian you will be a little weird. The simple definition of weird is, “Unusual or strange.” The full definition, however, is a little more telling. Weird literally means, “Suggesting something supernatural; uncanny.”

So the very fact that Christians believe in a supernatural being we call God makes us weird. Now, some Christians have embraced this completely.

The Christian life may be exiting, but staring at a slab of meat like you want to kiss it doesn’t make you a Christian…or exiting. Imagine inviting your friends over to stare at your big chunk of meat? You won’t have friends long if you make that Facebook invite. I haven’t read that “self-study” but the cover is weird.

You might believe you are God’s chosen puppet, but attaching puppet strings to your arms doesn’t make you any more a Christian than it does a member of ‘NSYNC.

The truth of the matter is saying you are God’s puppet is a tad weird.

Lots of people get tattoos. Christians often get tattoos of Jesus or other religious symbols. Some of those tattoos are a bit different.

Just being a Christian means you are a little weird. To make sure people don’t forget Christians record music and put albums out.

So if you are a Christian you need to know you will be a tad bit weird simply by believing in Jesus. There is no getting around the supernatural of Jesus.

I wish Christians weren’t known for being weird because of their socially awkward products and mainstream representatives. I wish Christians were known for being weird because our behavior was counter cultural.

Sometimes it seems people just tack the name of Jesus on anything and assume that it’s Christian. What makes a person a Christian is accepting the free gift of forgiveness for sin.

If a person hasn’t been forgiven then it doesn’t matter if they go to church, read the Bible, or have been baptized.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than walking into a Krispy Kreme makes you an amazing tasting donut. Reading a Bible doesn’t make you a Christian any more than reading Men’s fitness makes you have abs like Zack Efron. Getting baptized doesn’t make you a Christian. Without Jesus all baptism does is get you wet with your clothes on.

What makes a person a Christian is forgiveness of sins by Jesus. To not forgive should be weird for Christians. To receive the gift of forgiveness and then not give it to others is a slap in the face of God.

Jesus was pretty clear when He taught…

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

One of the things that should make Christians weird is our willingness to forgive.

But so often in the church world Christians refuse to forgive others.

Forgiving doesn’t mean you agree with what the other person did. It doesn’t mean that what happened was right. But to not forgive should be a strange site to see when it comes to Christians. If you or someone you know is holding a grudge, bitter, or refusing to forgive they are not being Christian.

People were first called Christians by others who looked at their behavior. We don’t know for sure if it was meant as an insult or a compliment, but we do know they were “called” Christians by those who looked at them from the outside. People were called Christians because they were following so closely to the teachings of Jesus…wait for it…wait for it…Christ.

To be a Christian is to follow Jesus. Jesus forgives. Jesus forgives those who hurt Him. Jesus forgives you. You cannot escape the fact that Jesus forgives. To not forgive is to pervert the gospel.

If we are only nice to those who are nice to us we are doing what is natural. To be a Christian is to have the supernatural live inside you. God empowers His followers to forgive.

I love the way the Message paraphrases Jesus’ teachings to Christians…

“If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.”

In other words it’s natural to treat others like you have been treated. What makes Christianity weird is our calling to flip the script and love those who are unkind to us. So if you aren’t going to model forgiveness than who is? If not you then who? Christians should be walking examples of the forgiveness of God.

Sometimes people stinketh. Sometimes you stinketh. We are all broken and in desperate need of forgiveness. To be a Christian is to embrace the forgiveness of your sins and then model that by forgiving others.

We forgive because that is what we have received through Jesus. Anything less would be unChristian.

Do you struggle to forgive? What do you think would help you forgive those you are bitter at? 

 

 

 

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

9 Comments

  1. Karen
    August 8, 2016

    Such an important topic in order to live in peace. God has blessed me with a natural desire to forgive easily for many wrongs, including my own wrongs. I don’t know where it comes from, other that I would like to think it is Him through me, although I am sure some of it comes with being a WIP people pleaser at times. I absolutely know that His word and praying frequently keeps my heart softer. My childhood was a bit hard to endure at times, so it prepared me for life’s hardships. Today’s blessings of peace and joy bring amazement to me and real contentment. For me, the actions people take that need forgiveness, including not liking me as a person, are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I think I might have a tough time forgiving a child molester, though, which tells me that I am still a WIP.

    Reply
    • August 8, 2016

      Karen, I’m sorry your childhood was hard to endure. I’ve never heard that part of your story. Thank you for entrusting that part to the blog. I appreciate your comments.

      Reply
  2. Karen
    August 8, 2016

    Financial hardships mainly, along with a very strict father. Both of those circumstances encouraged me to be work hard to be opposite.

    Reply
  3. Mary W
    August 8, 2016

    Good post and good points. Sometimes I struggle to forgive those who don’t acknowledge what they’ve done or ask to be forgiven. But I once heard holding onto unforgiveness described as you taking poison and expecting someone else to be affected by it.

    Reply
  4. Michele
    August 8, 2016

    Man, such a great post. I am pretty good at forgiving, but I could surely do better. I love your reminder to strive to do so. And Mary’s “poison” comment is excellent. I will try to remember that one to share with others.

    Reply
    • August 9, 2016

      Michele, thanks so much. We all need this reminder from time to time.

      Reply
  5. Kui
    August 9, 2016

    So now I’m weird? Lol. I guess people were right. I’ve been told I’m weird or strange a lot, sometimes because of my love of Christ, sometimes for other things! Forgiveness is definitely hard to do, but God has been working on this in me lately. He has been throwing me situations and people to help me harness this skill. I think this is one of the hardest and last skills we need to embrace to fully be followers of Him. I think for many it’s just too hard. Great message with great pics. I wonder why those people were staring at meat. What’s that about?

    Reply
    • August 9, 2016

      Kui, I’m weird as well so you will fit right in at Next Level. Haha. I think the people were staring at meat because of the bible verse that references studying the Bible like meat. I guess.

      Reply

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