Last week I was behind a car with the above license plate. I might lack hermeneutic skills, but I think this person does not like the White Sox, Red Sox, or some other socks. I’m not suggesting this is a mean or bad person, but the license plate got me thinking. Would I want my life, my existence to be defined by what I hate or defined by what I’m against?
When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out. What are my passions? What comes out when the pressures of life squeeze me? What pours out of my soul when I speak or write? Do others know me by what I hate, or by what I love? Do you know of a person, when life squeezes in on them, Jesus comes out?
Unfortunately, evangelical Christians are known more for what they are against, rather than what they are for. If you ask a secular person what are the teachings of Jesus, they say: don’t judge, love unconditionally, and forgive. When a secular person asks about what they think about Christians they often say we are judgmental, bigoted, and unforgiving. In others words, we are the antithesis of Christ. To them, we are the anti-Christ.
Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35, NIV) That is often lacking in our public discourse. Christian media spokespersons rail against fellow believers, using hateful language and tone. It brings back memories of Roberta Flack singing, “Where is the love?”
The gospel is not about how to live a moral life, but how your life can be transformed by the love and Spirit of God. Paul, a bi-vocational church planter encouraged followers of Jesus with these words, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24, NIV)
Several years ago, I was following a car with a bumper sticker that said, “Honk if you love Jesus.” So, I passed the car and repeatedly honked my horn. To my surprise the man gave me the finger and I don’t think it was the “To God be the Glory” sign. When life squeezes you, what comes out? My prayer is that it will be Jesus.