Monday, June 29, 2015

Just Another Beggar

There has been a lot of unrest in the last few days due to the SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. I don't want to get into an argument over whether or not it was the right decision. I don't want to go on a rant about how Christians are bigots or how homosexuals are dirty sinners. That is not what this is about. 

This is not another post defending or complaining about the Supreme Court ruling. We've had enough of that both ways. I'm sorry if that disappoints you.

This is a post about how disappointed I am in Christians on social media.

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15

Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst; me, Rachel Claire Cockrell. I am the worst sinner. I am worse than all of you. I know I don't act like it. I try so hard to portray myself as a good person and a good Christian, but I am not. I am selfish and stubborn. I am never able to admit when I'm wrong and it is so hard for me to apologize. I have a bad temper and I treat my husband, and other people I love, incredibly poorly when I am angry, or upset, or uncomfortable. I have always been self righteous; quick to point fingers at others and ignore the issues in myself. I am working on this, though, and I hope those who know me closely would say I am getting a little better. I am a gossip and I am cynical. I can find the negatives in any person or situation faster than my dog, Walter, can find your mouth to lick it when you yawn (for those of you who don't know, that's really fast). 

I struggle with sin every. single. day. And I am so, so tired of seeing tweets, re-tweets, Facebook rants, and blog posts about how this person and that person and those people should be ashamed of themselves and how they are going straight to hell. I'm tired of seeing tweets, re-tweets, Facebook rants, and blog posts about how I am a bigot who is trampling on the  rights of others, simply because I identify myself as a Christian who believes the bible. We cannot pretend to understand what it is like to be someone else. We cannot pretend that we have the right to condemn and judge when we are the worst sinners in the world

I need Christ in my life more than anyone else. There is not a single homosexual, alcoholic, adulterer, cheater, swindler, liar, bigot, racist, thief, or prostitute who is worse than I am. I can do nothing but embrace my weakness because my weaknesses only magnify Christ's power and grace. 

My pastor said something this past Sunday morning that struck a chord with me. He said "I am just one beggar trying to tell another beggar where to find bread." How much more impact would Christians have for the Kingdom of God if we all took this to heart? And not just about homosexuality, but about everything under the sun. I am a beggar. I am no better than anyone else. The only significant difference in me is that I have found the Savior. I am washed by the blood and covered in his grace. I am clean; not because of anything I have ever done, but because I have accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf. My only goal should be sharing that knowledge with other beggars.

When we stop comparing ourselves to everyone else in an attempt to make us feel like we are a better person than Skanky Sally or Cheatin' Charlie then think about what we, as Christians, could do for Christ! Think about how many more people would feel the love of Christ. We forget that this is what he was known for. He wasn't known for his condemnation. He was known for love.

Loving others is how the world will identify us as Christ followers. I have seen almost no love portrayed by Christians in the last few days. We have to stop assuming that we know what God is thinking. We have to stop assuming that we are here to tell everyone what they are doing wrong. I have to stop assuming that I am a better Christian or a better person than anyone else. 

To the LGBT community, I apologize on behalf of all self-proclaimed Christians for the way we have treated you. Please do not assume that we follow a God who condemns the way that we have. God is love. Period. Jesus loves you for who you are right now. We would have you believe that he doesn't. We would have you believe that Jesus only loves you when you've changed your sexual orientation. This is a lie. Jesus loves you exactly as you are right at this moment. I am sorry at how often we forget that. We assume that we have to tell you all about how the bible says homosexuality is a sin, but the truth is we should be loving you and showing you how much Jesus loves you. 

I have no right to tell anyone else how to live their lives. All I can do is tell you what a difference Jesus has made in my life. All I can tell you is how much more fulfilling it is to worship and follow a Savior who sacrificed his life for me, because He desired a relationship with me that much. 

Love won. But love won much further back than Friday morning. Love won over 2000 years ago on a cross when a man who was far from ordinary because he was fully God and fully man decided he loved me enough to die so that I could have a relationship with him. Love won when he chose to take me as I am. Love won when he decided that I was worth his sacrifice, even though I am the worst of all sinners. 

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