Try and reach a broken world.
I read an article yesterday that I posted on my facebook wall. And as all controversial articles go, this one brought in just as many mixed opinions and emotions as any. The article was written for Fox News, and it featured a blog post that a young lady wrote regarding her experience at a homeschool prom. The young lady, Clare, was asked to leave the prom early because her dancing and dress were leading the men and boys to have impure thoughts.
Her experience no matter whether you can see that she was hurt was traumatizing, whether it be what happened at the prom or what happened afterwards, but it will inevitably have an impact on her life forever. I believe that is always God's intention when He allows something to enter our life. We cannot ever say with real certaintiy what someone's "lesson" was supposed to be. And I see that a lot. I saw that a lot yesterday. I saw many people choosing 1 of 2 sides--hers or the adults at the prom. If they chose the adults, I believe it was primarily because they believed this girl needed a "lesson" in modesty", a "lesson" in respect, a "lesson" in whatever. And I feel the same way, in my human form. I feel the same way a lot of times with a lof of situations. But I really believe that is wrong. I am wrong when I believe it is my job to "teach someone a lesson". I am wrong when I believe I should point out the lesson I believe God is trying to teach them. Why? Because it's a personal lesson for that person, and for every other person that that person is involved with and it is a lesson that will change and grow with time and maturity and new experiences.
We ARE ALL BROKEN, when we start looking at peole's lives as "more broken" or "hopeless cause" when we begin saying I cannot associate with you because you're "inappropriate", we completely drop the love of Jesus Christ and we put on a heart of judgement. We cannot look at peoples situations, actions and behaviors and pick them apart, we have to look at a deeper and more foundational problem--the hearts of people. That's what we have to evaluate, pick apart. Each of our hearts. But we can't just sperate ourselves from every person that makes us "uncomfortable".
This girl needs to absolutely evaluate her heart. Why did she feel so "sexy" in that dress? Is it okay to feel "sexy" at that age? These are questions we should ponder, pray over, but they are not questions we should bombard her with. They are questions that will isolate her, shun her, make her feel like she is unworthy. They will make others feel unworhty as they may be walking through something similar or previously walked through. The thing is, our situations affect us greatly, deeply, profoundly and FOR A LONG TIME.
If you cannot truly step back and see that, then your heart really needs to be primed for loving. And I am sorry to say that if someone take's personal offense, as if I am personally attacking you. I am not. But, I do believe without a doubt that if we cannot look at the log in our own eye but are very easily able to point out the speck in someone else's, we are not bringing people to Christ.
No, instead, what we are doing is placing people in "sin boxes". "You're a sinner, You're a sinner, You're a sinner" and we place them into a box. We then take it as our job as the "more mature Christian" to begin disciplining this sinner in the box. We just have to get them on the right track, get them right with Jesus. And we do it with "the best of intentions", "seeking to bring people to Jesus" but what we are really doing is pushing people further and further away from us and in turn further and further away from Him.
You see, we need to roll up our sleeves and be willing to walk through life with people we may deem "unworthy", people that "make us uncomfortable," and that is hard. Hands down, without question, hard.
But, it's a commission. How are we supposed to bring hearts to Jesus if we do not walk through life with hearts? Why are we so quick to believe our "job" is to exhort the truth, when maybe our "job" is simply to have relationships with people we think are "inappropriate", "less than", "disrespecful", "just not getting it".
Have you ever thought that? "They just don't get it". I have. And I am confident that I am not the only one. It's easy to look at someone's life and say you just don't get it. But, can we look at our own? Can we look at our life and say, "maybe I'm missing something", "maybe I need to love more", "maybe I'm not loving them really but trying to change them".
God changes hearts. I'm sure this will be an endless argument, but it's not our responsibility to change anyone. It's our responsiblity, our calling, our commandment, to LOVE. That is it.
You will find a ton of Scripture stating this that and another about pointing out to people what their sin is, how they can change. You'll find examples in the New Testatment and Old Testamtent.
But, what do we find when we look at Jesus' llife?
Truly, sit down and look at only His mission, His time on Earth.
You see a lot of people that believed they were "getting it", a lot of people that believed they had the right to point fingers and judge, and then you had a man, a single Man, stand up and say, this person is SPECIAL, WORHTY, ENOUGH FOR ME TO DIE FOR RIGHT HERE IN THEIR SIN.
You had a single Man say, "Thee without sin, cast the first stone". John 8:7
That verse has arisen some great debate through the centuries hasn't it.
We cannot throw that stone, because we are with sin. But, He can. He was without it, and guess what my friends, He never did.
Not when He met the adulterous woman, not when He met the prostitute, not when He healed the mentally ill.
He never discussed how sinful and broken they were. He never pointed out how awful and disgusting their actions were. Nope, He looked right at their heart and He began transforming it.
That's what He does. And He wants to do it with us too. I think sometimes we believe, truly believe, that once we accept Jesus we're so healed and so new and never will sin again.
I've even heard it taught that the lesson to be learned from Jesus' ministry with the prostitute is that she "sin no more", but I believe that's not the lesson ever to learn. We can never "sin no more". That is to be reached only in heaven.
If you think you've reached that place, I would very seriously caution you to pray about whether your heart needs molding. If your heart no longer needs molding because you've reached the ultimate "sin no more" level, then the sacrifice of Jesus was never needed and that is competely not true. No, the truth is that our hearts always need molding.
We learn more by walking through life with broken people than we can ever hope to learn by even walking through our own paths.
We build realtionships with people and in turn we grow closer to Jesus.
It should be beautiful.
Instead, we keep pulling ourselves away from people because we dont think they are good enough, when we should think we are all not good enough for Him, but praise God that He chose to love us anyways.
This story about Clare and her prom is only a small window into a much bigger issue taking place right now while I type this--and that is shunning people that make us uncomfrotable and blaming them for our sinful hearts.
We have got to begin truly working on our own hearts, so that we can more effectively touch the hearts of others.
We have to walk through life with those people first--the people at the prom would have had to walk through life with Clare. They cannot blame Clare for the hearts of those men and boys, those men and boys need to work on their hearts with God so that they can be in a room with a woman who may not behave appropriately, and they can keep their eyes focused on Him. ANd if they cannot, it's because their heart is in need of changing still, not hers. If we blame her, we begin a slippery slope of excusing the actions of people.
If you say "Clare deserved to be thrown out because of her dress and behavior," then you also say, "that girl who was raped and wearing a tube top and mini skirt deserved it because she should have been more moedest" or "if that boy would be less awkward, the bullies wouldn't pick on him so badly," or "I wouldn't hit you if you didn't make me so angry" "if your face wasn't so ugly, I wouldn't make fun of you". See how completely ridiculous that last statement is. Well, they all seem ridiculous to me! Because it's people excusing their judgements, bad behavior and criticism because someone else "deserved it" .