I’m Sorry

To my non-Christian friends (and those reading this I don’t know personally),

I’m sorry.  I truly am.

In my own short-sighted pursuits, I forgot to trust you.  Somewhere along the way, God grabbed a hold on my heart and absolutely crushed it… over my own actions, and even over others’.  I came to such an intricate and raw understanding of my own flawed humanity that the reality of how it played out in the world around me became overwhelmingly apparent.  The image that accompanies this feeling reminds me of an ostrich burying its head in the sand.  Shame so heavy I didn’t want to face even the sight of it.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have caused a lot of pain in my lifetime.  Chances are, so have you.  But in the midst of realizing my ownership of these consequences, I was offered grace.

And it set me FREE.

This is the story of ALL Christians.  Yet… in our attempts of communicating that which so drastically altered our lives, we have forgotten to trust that anyone else could recognize it for their own lives without our help.

I think the reason that many Christians lash out at society (and people in general) stems from a sincere longing to see EVERYONE flourish within an intimate and profound relationship with their Creator.  This longing, however, is also flawed, broken, somewhat misplaced, and severely insecure at its core.  And lump me in with that crowd.  In our desire for God to break our hearts for the things that break His, we have projected our own lingering brokenness onto you.

You see, when we accept Christ as who He says He is, we are forgiven, but not instantly healed.  Those struggles we attempt to manage by keeping as small flickers, aren’t extinguished.  In fact, for the Christian, many times they engulf our souls.  Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:28-30) because HE wants to bear those burdens for us… not remove them from our lives.  That brokenness is what allows us to press forward in His calling for our lives, and relate to others in deep, impactful ways.  Removing the brokenness only removes the root of our need for Jesus.

But I think this is where we as Christians stop short.  We’re scared of the unknown.  And we’re living close-handed lives, when we’ve been called to have a loose grip on this life… to live open-handedly.

We haven’t pursued sincere, meaningful relationships with you.  We don’t serve you selflessly and unconditionally.  We think that being “broken” for those who don’t know Christ is to somehow WILL them into belief or suddenly convince them that they’re headed down the wrong path.  And when that doesn’t happen… instead of pressing in to genuinely love you where you are, we grasp, sometimes violently, because you might slip away.  Those desperate attempts ALWAYS result in the opposite of the intention.  It’s not that we don’t love you… it’s that we don’t trust you.  Plain and simple.

For that, I am deeply sorry.

We don’t trust that God has in you in His grasp, and is continually calling for you… even when you refuse to acknowledge His voice.

We don’t trust that you are genuinely seeking answers to the important questions of life.

We don’t trust that you can make informed decisions.

We don’t trust that you have the same, if not more, emotional capacity to handle situations.

Honestly, if we did, you would see CONSIDERABLY MORE Christians walking around these days.  There is a significantly profound authenticity in being able to share where you’ve been and allow others to genuinely hear and respond.  The true beauty of the Gospel message is in its surprising LACK of agenda.   The response to Jesus organically produces holiness through relationship.  And its byproducts are love for God and love for others.

So, if I may be blunt for a moment.  I do sincerely apologize for all of what I’ve written above.  I apologize on behalf of all well-meaning, yet relationally detached Christians, who are desperate for your FREEDOM in this life and the next, but struggle/refuse to bridge the gap.  At the same time, I’m releasing this notion that I am personally responsible for your salvation.  I’m not.  It was never intended to be that way.  But I do have one earnest and sincere request.  Please do not let the posts, words, politicizing, or actions of Christians be the sole reason you disregard Christ.  Neither should they be the sole reason you trust Christ.  I cannot change your experiences or heart, but God can.  Might I be someone that consistently points you to Christ and TRUSTS that you will respond and engage.

Jesus Christ is the sole hope in this world.  I pray you come to recognize and accept His calling.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”

Matthew 7:7-8

 Sincerely and Genuinely In Christ,

Josh

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