If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 2 Corinthians 5:13
There’s a lot of criticism of Christians these days. We get called any manner of names from freaks to racists and dumb to science deniers. And we shouldn’t be surprised. No one ever said this would be easy.
I wonder if that’s why so many people, including parents, choose not to share their faith? Yes, I said including parents. A friend of mine grew up with a mother who considers herself a Christian. Yet she never shared her faith with her two daughters. Never encouraged them to come to church. Never explained what her faith meant to her. I’ve heard parents say, “I’ll let my kids decide when they get older as to what they want to believe.”
But think about all the things in life we are either willing or even feel compelled to share and teach others. I, for one, have a lot of advice in me to spread about the world spanning any number of topics! From a parenting point of view do we “wait till they decide” when it comes to teaching our kids about healthy eating habits? Do we wait for them to figure out on their own how to read or write?
How did we get to this point in our faith journey where we are so hesitant to share our faith out of fear from what the world would say about us? Out of fear we will get called crazy and “out of our minds?”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. Luke 4:9
Right out of the gate, before Jesus can even start gathering up disciples, our friend, the devil, comes along and tries to tear down Jesus’ confidence. He tests Him multiple times to see if Jesus is who He says He is.
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Luke 4:12
I always love Jesus’ responses to those who would say He was “out of his mind.” He never fails to give me a Perspective Change Moment. He doesn’t argue with the devil about the dangers of jumping off a cliff. He doesn’t present genealogy charts and Old Testament verses from Isaiah about His coming. He just says, “Don’t even test me.” He doesn’t sound angry or offended.
Ah, to be like Jesus. When I was contemplating this post, I got convicted of something I had done the night before. My husband and I were flying home from a visit with family. As we sat in our seats on the plane my husband dropped one side of his mask while trying to adjust his hat. A woman was making her way into the seat in front of us and turned and stared at both of us. Then she looked at my husband and said, “Sir, put your mask on.”
And boom, my hackles (whatever those are) started to rise. I laughed at her. I had all manner of comments I wanted to make but some supernatural force shoved me back in my seat and clamped its hand over my mouth. I sat there steaming, irritated. Very un-Jesus like.
I could’ve used the opportunity to be a peacemaker, a practicing Christian. A Christian who shows what Jesus is about rather than what the devil is all about. I could’ve been “out of my mind” with grace and apologies rather than defensiveness. I didn’t act like I would’ve a few years ago but I didn’t act like the person I want to be. Imperfect progress as my friend Betsy likes to say. Yes, my husband had removed his mask for just a minute. But this woman was clearly fearful and needed a bit of Jesus, not the world.
I told my BSGs the other day that if there was one thing I could try to erase from Christians’ minds it is the idea that “sharing our faith” doesn’t mean standing on a street corner screaming about Jesus. It means that when, given the opportunity by God, we behave like Jesus. We speak like Jesus. We seek peace like Jesus. We teach like Jesus. And we stand firm like Jesus. We step out of our own worldly minds and into Jesus’ mind.
But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
God will give you opportunities today. It may be with your children. It may be with your neighbor. It may be with a stranger on a plane. And yes, we need to act as though we are out of our minds with the love of God.
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