The But Stops Here


There is a huge problem with Christianity today. It feels to me as if we have built walls around our beliefs when we should be completely open and accessible. We immediately get mad, irritated, or defensive if a person shares something that contradicts what we believe. We start shouting Bible scriptures and flog them with our judgmental whips. The sad part is, we do all of this while keeping the skeletons in our own closet locked away under a veil of darkness, where no one can ever see them. What bothers me the most is the “but” mentality.

We have become a generation of Christians who can’t love others unless there are conditions. 

Love the sinner, BUT hate the sin. Of course we hate sin, but why do we feel the need to state that every time we see someone doing wrong? (I am guilty of this, by the way.) Why can’t we simply say love the sinner? See? No condition there. When we add a “but” condition to our love, I believe it weakens the act. It takes our focus off of the hurt and broken individual, and places it all on what they are doing. Are they gay? Who cares. Do they worship the devil? Doesn’t matter. Did that girl have an abortion? She needs our love, not self-righteous judgement. One of my favorite lines from a song comes from Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns. “What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines, and love like You did”. That’s powerful.

Don’t miss an opportunity to love someone because you’re too hung up on what they are doing. 

I can help you, BUT what’s in it for me? Seriously? So many today have the mentality that in order to help someone, we need something in return. Why is that? What happened to helping someone who can never pay us back? If we always expect a payoff on our love investment, we will never be able to help the poor, homeless, hungry, or naked. We might as well rip out all the pages in the Bible that talk about Jesus, and burn them. He was the ultimate example of helping those who could never return the favor. And He was completely satisfied with that. He didn’t care. He didn’t need them to do anything but accept His love, help, and healing.

I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time, BUT I’ll be praying for you. You might as well slap someone in the face. While prayer is very powerful, and an essential weapon in our arsenal, it’s not always the solution. If a family has no food in their apartment, you don’t just pray that God will provide. You drive to the freaking store and buy some food. If you don’t have the funds to buy food, ask your friends to help. Take food out of your own cupboard and give it. There is always a way. When we need something, sure we pray, but I believe we also have to be active, and not just sit back, waiting for God to do His thing.

These are just a few examples of the “but” mentality. Our love should be unconditional. No strings. No expectations. No requirements. No repayment plan. Jesus enjoyed the benefits of spending His time with God the Father in Heaven, but He lowered Himself to our standards and became human. He lived life on Earth. He allowed Himself to be hung on a tree. He took on all of our pain, fear, sin, brokenness, despair, and shame. And He did it all with no expectations for us to reciprocate.

I want to be more like Jesus. I want to love others unconditionally. For me, the but stops here.

 

Chris Martin

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