“Despite everything, I still believe there is good in the world.”There’s a reason Anne Frank’s words continue to resonate with people. Our hearts break for this girl – hiding from the Nazis with her family in constant fear. That these are the last words we have from her before her capture and death is tragically beautiful. Her words give us hope that if she can still find good in the midst of the Holocaust, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to find glimmers in our own lives.
Christianity is a pretty great thing. While there are those who have done their best to give it a bad name (Crusades, blowing up abortion clinics, those picketing whackos, etc.) that’s never what God intended for us. For His church. He meant for us to have freedom. Joy. Family. Love. Confidence. Peace. Harmony.
And so on and so forth. You get the picture.
It’s a beautiful picture too. But despite that little factoid, it’s getting harder and harder for so many to believe there is still good in the church.
Let me be blatantly honest – if I see one more blog with some title that’s yet another variation of “Why You’re Doing Christianity Wrong”, I might lose it.
It’s not a pretty picture. I don’t like doing it.
But for an added dose of honesty, my initial desire as of late has been to write a withering post about all the joy-killing bloggers in the world that keep depressing me. Until I realized the (obvious) counter-productiveness.
Because really, I admire a lot of them. I admire the desire to call Christians to a higher standard of living. It’s a worthwhile goal that I (generally) appreciate. There has always been and always will be room for improvement in the church as it’s a body of people made up of people. There’s nothing wrong about encouraging that improvement. If people were doing what they should have, a pretty good chunk of the New Testament would never have been written.
Nonetheless, sometimes it can feel a little exhausting. As much bad as there is and as much as correction can be needed at times, there’s far more good. But I don’t think many are getting that message. Because if reality t.v. has taught us anything (and really, reality t.v. has killed more brain cells than otherwise), it’s that people love a train wreck. That problem-causers are the ones that get most of the attention.
Which is a travesty. Because there’s so much good being done out there by Christians. Fortunately and unfortunately, the people that take God’s commands to love our neighbors seriously are generally the ones that take the whole “don’t let your right hand know what your left hand” concept seriously as well. So we don’t know about it.
But it’s there. And I’m wanting to start sharing some of those stories with y’all. But off the top of my head, here’s just a few things I’ve seen recently from Christians:
• An exhausted mom receiving prayers and words of encouragement and finding new strength in her day.
• A homesick, lonely college student being taken in and becoming part of a surrogate family.
• A family sending me a text to let me know they’d be late getting to church services because they stopped to help a woman with a flat tire and recognized the hypocrisy in passing her by so they’d arrive early.
• Family after family opening up their homes (and wallets) to house and feed teenagers at an annual youth conference.
• A man paying for marriage counseling for another couple struggling.
• Food being brought to new moms, or the sick, or those recently undergoing surgery. (I live in the South where food can also be loosely translated as “I love you.”)
• College students giving rides to the elderly.
• Kid President and his older brother-in-law (also with a new book out), committing themselves to spreading cheer and the idea that “it’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” If you’re living under a rock, watch his pep talk and try not to smile.
• People donating their time at the local food bank.
• Countless individuals giving money, gift cards, “blessing bags”, etc. to those asking.
• A man filling up a stranger’s car with gas.
And there’s plenty more. So, so many more. Some big, some small. Some impacting thousands, if not millions. Some never to be known outside of the one person who felt the difference in their life. All done by Christians as a way of letting their light shine to the world.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love. And we have it. God IS it. And Christians have a responsibility to be love and share love with others. So what have you seen? Share it below, or even better – share it with others in your own life. (Both options are acceptable actually.) On your Facebook, your Twitter, at school, at the office, with your friends, with your family, with the Brookshire’s dude who’s carrying your groceries to your car. Christianity is more than being against Starbucks, yoga pants, and 50 Shades (which, you know, probably shouldn’t be watching that). There’s a lot of good in the world, but there’s so much more in God’s kingdom and it’s time for people to see that.