Jesus stopped the human cycle of binary wars by calling us all equally loved, equally dignified, and equally heard. Jesus saw each individual as a holistic, multi-dimensional, complex, conflicted person and met them in their own condition, wherever they were — because this is what grace does.
No one in this story is the hero nor the villain — for we are simply broken people in need of rescue and in need of each other. We cannot make history alone.
Without the same compassion of Christ for the people he loves, all our bravado and chest-beating is absolutely pointless. We will be buried with our picket signs without having known a single human life. We will have succeeded at minor skirmishes and stomped on human stories. We will win at social reform but still be spiritually deformed. We will legislate laws on disagreeable issues but lose the human heart — on both sides.
People who have grown up in church sometimes have this nagging question tugging at their minds and hearts. They show up on Sunday morning (like they have their whole lives) sing the songs, listen to the Scripture and pray, but all the while, they’re wondering, “Am I missing out? And if so, just how much am I missing?” If that’s you, I’d like to make a suggestion. If you’re wondering what you’re missing and you’re about ready to throw in the towel on the whole Jesus thing, I want you to hear me out on one thing:
When you get out there, don’t settle for mediocre. Be really honest with yourself. If you’re not doing the Jesus thing, don’t pretend to be doing it. Don’t front about what your life is about. Be real about this. After all, it’s your life we’re talking about here. Take it seriously. If you’re taking some time to walk away from Jesus and just run the show of your own life for a while, make the world answer the big questions. What I mean is, whatever it is you get into out there, you should demand that it works. Whatever you do, it should be giving you peace and joy and gladness. That thing you’re running to - is it filling you up with life that satisfies? Is that worldly thing you’re into making you excited to wake up in the morning? Is it setting your heart on fire? Is it all you want to talk about and think about and sing about? Does it make you complete? Does it make you confident about who you are? Is it filling your life with love? Is it working?
It should be, and you need to demand that it gets the job done. If you’re running from Jesus, I’m not here to judge you. Whatever you need to do, I say go for it, but for heaven’s sake, be honest and be demanding. Don’t sell yourself short.
The fact is, I can already tell you it won’t work. Whatever that thing is, it will take life away from you. It will leave you empty, bored and maybe worse. Jesus made you and He’s the only thing that can really satisfy you. The most fulfilled people I have ever met all have one thing in common: they ran hard with the world, and it just didn’t work. They met Jesus and have been drinking deeply from the Living Water ever since.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.” - Psalm 55:1-2