Let's Get our Hands Dirty!
There has been one issue that has become completely apparent to me this past week. As I glazed over the local news, social media, and just the world around me, something has come to my attention. The Church of Jesus Christ has fallen short of love. We have become “issue” focused instead of “people” focused. We have made it our job to protest, boycott, and stand against anything or anyone we deem “wrong.” By no means are we ever to excuse sin! But we are to extend grace to people. Our intolerance for sin should never qualify us to put aside love. We were called to love the broken. To see them set free. To live a life that sheds light into the dark areas of the hearts of the lost. We were never called to shun them. To separate ourselves and refuse to “get our hands dirty” in the world around us.
We are called to make a difference in this world. Unfortunately, we have based that call on how the world around us would do that. We must always have the Great Commission as the filter through which we process our decisions. “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). Nowhere in this passage does it command us to protest, or boycott the decisions of the world. Rather we are called to make disciples! How then, according to God’s Word, are we to do that?
We are taught in the Word, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). We are to intentionally live in peace among those that are around us. We are to, “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:14-16).
So, when are we supposed to make a stand? How do we stand out in the world around us when we are a counterculture to everything they stand for? How are we to live in a dark world? Jesus told us how, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
Let’s stop being "Law Enforcers", and start being "Kingdom Representors." Jesus was unafraid to sit with sinners and love the adulterer. He knew that it is the love of God that draws people to repentance (Romans 2:4). Not our protests. Not our boycotting. Not our social media rants. Our genuine love will draw the broken. The unlovable. The sinners. Those who are where we used to be. So today, I charge you. Go get your hands dirty. Talk to that person who uses a curse word after every sentence. They are the ones who are right where God once found us. Lost. Broken. Afraid. Ashamed. Let’s be salt and light.