Family. Friends. Colleagues. Counselors. Social workers. Programs.
What’s in it for me? Why do we use people like they are so much toilet paper and then flush them down the toilet? Why do we call it racism? It’s not really that. It’s not that we hate you; we just don’t care. Your race is screwed up? Sorry, I don’t even care about my own race, and that is screwed up too.
“The world will hate you because it hated me.” Why does the world hate Jesus? Because he wants them to care. If you follow Jesus, you have to deny yourself, take up his CROSS, and follow him.
Anyone who says it EASY to be a Christian doesn’t know the first thing about being a Christian. Tell the world you love them, you want them to be saved, you want to give of yourself for them. The world says, “Thank you very much, I’ll just take everything you have. Then I’ll spit on you and whip you for my own enjoyment, and when I’m done having fun with you, I’ll crucify you.”
Jesus told us that the swine will destroy every pearl that we put in front of them. Jesus warns us not to get caught up in the game the world is playing. But Jesus also ate with scum and prostitutes and the lowest of this world. He knew that most of them were just looking for a reason, any reason, to have hope beyond their miserable lives. He knew what was in a person, he knew which ones were his. He knew which ones would betray him. He knew why the authorities hated him–because he offered hope for a better life beyond their control.
For the past month, I have had to admit my failures. I have had to stand and watch those I tried to help destroy themselves and destroy me in the process. OK, I can deal with that. It’s nothing I haven’t been through a thousand times before. After all, I follow Jesus.
Tonight is especially hard, though. I see a friend who’s on the verge of giving up hope. I see a friend who’s life has been hard and cruel, until he turned it over to God. I see a friend struggling, because he now sees that the world that hated him before now hates him all the more because he is following Jesus. The world that used him before now sees an easy mark, a softy, a Christian. “Let’s trample him and take all his pearls.”
I don’t know what to say to him when he says that God is cruel. I just want to scream to him to hang on and don’t give up hope. I know what is feels like to give everything and have nothing to show for it. And yet, I hope against hope. I see the world in the toilet, yet I hope against hope that it’s not too late to fix it, even as I have the words of Jesus telling me that it cannot be fixed. I know that there are still the few out there, like me, who are struggling to let the light of Jesus shine. And so I will do my best to support them. I know there are a few people who will hear the call of Jesus and follow, so I keep letting myself be used with the hope that I might serve them.
In an hour, the sun will be up, and we must go out into the cruel world and try again. We know that all the programs and support groups in the world are worthless, except for those who follow the foolishness of Christ. We know that only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and lives. We know that, many times, the pain of rejection and betrayal will be excruciating (meaning we are going to be crucified, like Jesus). But we have no other choice. We must tell the story. God will hold us blameless if we tell the story. “Though he slay me, yet will I fear him.” “We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” “If you confess me before humans, then I will confess you before my heavenly Father.” Hope when there is no hope.
- Suffering For Christ’s Name (brentkuhlman.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Prays for His Followers (sundayschoolbiblestudy.wordpress.com)