May 5, 2008 by Jo
Lately I’ve noticed some qualities in others, especially “Christians”, that really drive me crazy and hinder me from really focusing on the good stuff. Earlier this week I realized that the reason I despise these things so much lies in my past…I had most, if not all, of these traits at some point in my near 26 years. So I decided to post about them and maybe release some of the anger that comes with them.
And if this sounds like you, or rubs you the wrong way…let that sink in. Maybe there’s a reason for that.
1. Lack of Humility
This is the biggest one, the top of the list, the doozie. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I realized what a jerk I was…”in Christ”. I really had no idea what true humility entailed, and therefore was a total disgrace when it came to walking the walk Christ did. My thoughts, intentions, actions were all geared toward myself and how I would benefit instead of how God would get the glory. I still deal with this on a weekly basis. My quote for this one? “Humility is pride in God”. Maybe one day I’ll get there.
2. A Misunderstanding of God’s Grace
I won’t say much about this one except that it goes hand in hand with humility. I am sick of Christians believing that we have to look a certain way, drive a certain car, wear a certain brand to “convince the lost” that we’re blessed. I would hope that my life would speak for itself without all the commercial mumbo-jumbo. To me, there is nothing of God in the prosperity theology, and the churches that teach it are putting Him in teeny tiny box to leave on the shelf. From my one of the bloggers at my church (quoting Ben Witherington): “We need to advocate a theology of stewardship which puts other people’s necessities before our luxuries. We need to simplify our lifestyles and get a clear grasp on God’s prioirties including God’s especial concern for the poor and destitute of the world. We need to realize that what Jesus promised us if we seek the kingdom is not prosperity,but rather ’just enough’ to take care of our basic needs. We need to remember that the Lord’s prayer teaches us to pray for daily bread, not for resources today that I could not possibly use in 10,000 lifetimes. We need to heed all the warnings about how wealth can destroy the soul of an inherently self centered and acquistive creature– namely any human being. We need to renounce the false gospel of wealth and health— it is a disease of our American culture, it is not a solution or answer to life’s problems.” Read the blog in its entirety here…and really, you should. Because putting other people first should be a priority on every true follower’s list…after all, what did Jesus do?
You’ve met that girl, the one who goes on and on about how she’s missed you at church, how she prays for you everyday, how you’re always on her mind…that was me in high school, but I was totally full of it. And because I was that girl I can see right through it all now. After all, it takes one to know one. Don’t tell me you have missed me when I haven’t heard a word from you in weeks. Don’t say you’ll pray for me unless you’re going to follow up. I know your heart is in the right place, but get your brain there as well before throwing up the JC gang signs. I need to know you mean what you say, and so do those who don’t believe what we do (yet).
4. The Unquestioning Christian
Ooooh spoon feed me! I will take every bit of food you give me and process it just enough to spit it back up at someone else. I will not digest it, let it roll around in my insides, learn the way it feels, looks, tastes for myself. Instead I will simply throw up all over everyone and expect them to come away with the same sweet taste. Please, please, PLEASE don’t be one of those people (and this goes for everyone, not just followers) who just regurgitate a bunch of information without actually determining what is truth. Just because your pastor, your favorite presidental candidate, a professor, your best friend said it don’t mean it’s right. My FAVORITE thing is when people are especially militant about their positions with little to no real education on the subjects at hand. Again, I was this girl…and it wasn’t pretty.
5. And finally…The Hatred
This goes right along with #4…the militant, religious Christian who has determined that all people who do not believe as they do are worthy of their dislike. Or, in some cases, believing that anyone who is different are unworthy of compassion from us as Christians. Um, hello? Is it just me, or did Jesus spend most of his spare time in direct ministry to those who were the outcasts? Yep, guess what? Some of my friends are gay. Some are black. Some are poor and wear clothes from Wal-Mart. Some are weird, and nerdy, or freaky, or divorced. And guess what? GOD LOVES THEM JUST AS MUCH AS HE LOVES YOU. So get over the hate…it has no place in a follower’s heart, brain, LIFE.
I love most of my Christian friends. I just wish I liked them a little more.