As a 22 year old living in this day and age, life isn’t exactly easy, but I was blessed to be in a loving environment. However, as I talk to more and more of my peers and meet all kinds of new people, I’ve come to find it hard to talk about my religion or beliefs without striking the nerve of someone, and it’s most frequently the people around my age that stir up the most muck whenever I do. Why is that?
So I began listening to the people around me more and trying hearing my generation’s side of the story. I‘ve come to a big conclusion. A lot of my generation has a problem with the church or a problem with God in some way or another. Many turning to false gods, or wiccan, or just disbelieving in any higher power and turning to atheism. There are many different causes to this, maybe they feel like they were being punished or put through unnecessary hardships. Or maybe they felt like He just wasn’t there when they needed Him most, vanishing like Avatar Roku when the fire nation attacked. Unfortunately, many don’t know His love. Many don’t know His kindness.
I began to ask myself “why is that”?
Aren’t we, as followers of Christ, supposed to spread His word? Share His gospel? Aren’t we supposed to be the ones showing His vast love and kindness to others through our actions?
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” – Proverbs 27:17
I was lucky to grow up in a loving church with many amazing members from all different backgrounds, but when I talk to my peers at work or in college, I tend to see a lot of the same answers. “There’s too much drama in church.” “No one in my church cared about the pain I was in.” “My church cared more about hating on hair dye and music that wasn’t all about God than they cared about its actual members.” These are all quotes I’ve been given directly by some friends of mine who are now atheists because they just did not feel welcomed in what is supposed to be a family and a home.
Knowing this hurt me for them. Was it not Jesus himself who brought together the lowest of the low of society to be his closest and most dear friends? Did he not gather the fishermen or the tax collectors? Did he not travel with a woman who was at one time filled with demons and sin before Jesus reached out and cast them out of her? Why are we pushing away those who are hurting? Why are we sometimes the ones causing pain?
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” –
Everyone has their own journey. Everyone has their own path with God that they must take. But that does not mean that they must travel alone. Paths cross all of the time, and if God says that yours and mine cross here, then by golly I will do what I can to help you make it up that hill while I can. God loves us, each and every one. So, fellow Jesus followers, do not push away the sinner because of their mistakes. Do not cast stones at those who are lost and look differently than you, for only God can judge them. How can we push our beliefs onto those who see only the restrictions when no one was there to show them the freedom that is His love?
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7
No one is perfect. Not a single person has lived without sin. So do not cast aside those of different beliefs. We are all equally given a second chance…and a third chance..and as many chances as it takes as long as we follow Jesus, and accept Him in our hearts.