One of the biggest mistakes we as Christians can make is thinking that somehow we’re more righteous, more holy, more special in the eyes of God than someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I know how special you are. I know how hard you pray. I know how close you and Jesus are. You’re like brothers, right? Of course God thinks you’re special.
But don’t be fooled into thinking you’re more special than that guy over there. You know the one I’m talking about. The one huddled over there under that bridge. The one with no coat. The one with dirty feet. The one one you would rather not think about.
Or that lady you work with. The one who comes to work all happy all the time and is always telling you to have a nice day. The one you KNOW is lying about how happy she is because she spends her weekends visiting her son in prison – yeah right. Like God thinks she’s more special than you are. If she were so special why didn’t God give her a better son? If she were so special, why didn’t she raise a better son?
Or how about that friend of yours? The one that posts all those bible verses on her Facebook page, and asks you to re-post, which you dutifully do and then ask YOUR friends to re-post because everyone knows that if we deny Christ then Christ will deny us.
Which one does God love more?
Well friends, here’s the Good News - God loves each of us with the love that only a Father can have for His child. It doesn’t matter if we spend 18 hours a day on our knees in prayer, live under a bridge, can quote scripture better than the best televangelist, worry over our estranged children, or are simply trying to get through the day without breaking down in despair. God loves each of us with a love so strong, so deep, so eternal, that nothing we do, say, or promise – or fail to do, say, or promise for that matter, can ever change that.
Intellectually I think everyone gets this. Where we run into trouble, I think, is thinking that while God loves me that much, surely that doesn’ t mean he loves you that much, particularly when “you” aren’t the kind of person that “I” would choose to love. So we start to feel more special. We start to feel more righteous. We start to feel superior.
And we become bullies.
We don’t start out to bully. We mean well. We want to help. Here, let me help you get closer to Christ, all you have to do is pray like I pray. Let me help you get to heaven, all you have to do is post this chain letter about how much Christ has done for you. Let me help you feel good about yourself, all you have to do is take this free food I’m offering you tonight.
The thing is, it’s not our place to tell people how to pray. Christ did that in giving us the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not our place to make people feel guilty about not having time to forward an email or re-post a bible quote out of fear for their salvation. Their salvation that was bought and paid for by the blood of Christ and it doesn’t come with strings. And while it is our place to feed the hungry, we need to do it out of the love we feel for Jesus, and all our brothers and sisters, not some sense of self-righteousness that we’re better than the people we’re helping. Because we’re not. Not in God’s eyes.
Please God, help me to see others as You see them. To love others as You love them. And not bully them into being someone that You haven’t called them to be.