In my life I have learned so much about dealing with people. Sometimes this is a daunting task, other times it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. Our interaction with one another can reveal so much about our character, and our moral compass.
I remember when I came back to school from Summer Camp after I accepted Christ. I was so on fire for the Lord, I wanted everyone to know about Him. Now that sounds like a great thing right? Yes it was great I was on fire, yes it was great I wanted people to know about Jesus and what He had done in my life, but I missed out on something. I missed showing the love to others by a mile. Instead of talking about Jesus in a kind way, I began to judge others on the things they were doing. Pointing out flaws in their lifestyle, when they would curse, or get drunk on the weekends, or have premarital sex. I was the one coming to them and “preaching to them” about how they should act. It gave me the nickname Preacher, and at one time I thought this was a good thing. The point of this story is that sometimes as Christians we can miss the boat. We are human, and we do make mistakes. This doesn’t make us terrible people. It just makes us a person who made a mistake.
(If you are reading this, and I at one time judged you in this way, I am so very sorry, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.)
Now I love to hike, I’ve never been to a legit mountain before, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do. I recently watched the movie Everest, and I can say that is not a mountain I would ever want to climb. As much as I love nature, that is one mountain I will steer clear of. No spoilers everyone, but that is an intense movie. We all have mountains in our lives, but we also have mountains in our faith.
There was a time when I would debate people for hours on doctrinal and theological subjects like eschatology, old earth vs new earth creationism, the list goes on and on. But in all that time I really didn’t accomplish anything for the Kingdom. In life sometimes we make our own mountains harder to climb, and sometimes we create a mountain out of thin air.
Trust me I see no issue in being educated on what you believe, but I believe there are proper times to use that knowledge, and other times that you should shelve it, and just love on people. In all the time I spent in school, I made more of an impact when I left the walls and went into the streets to love on others, and usually never speaking a word about my doctrine, only letting them know I went to Seminary and was a worship leader. I would ask what I could pray for them about, and on certain occasions buy them a meal. This was the most life giving experience ever for me, and is also why I am such a big believer in inner city missions.
We can also create mountains out of subjects that should be a hill. Yes we have differing opinions on subjects like same sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, using words deemed as foul language, whether we are Calvinistic or not, or our view on the Creation story, but those should not separate us Christians if we align on Jesus. We shouldn’t disrespect and despise one other over a hill, and we certainly shouldn’t make a mountain out of it.
I understand some of you reading this may check out because of what I have said, and I respect your decision to do so. I am merely a man, and I can be incorrect. But I feel so strongly that if we as the Church continue to fight and bicker over trivial subjects we will quickly find our church buildings empty, and our local mission field much more scarce.
May we climb these faith mountains together, may we let the hills be hills. May we grow to understand that our pride of being correct should take a major backseat to showing someone our Savior’s love. Don’t push each other away. Love one another.
“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways.”