What Kind of Christian?

So I was introduced to someone the other day and after some small talk the ensuing conversation led me to identify myself as a Christian.

Normally I would self-identify as “a Jesus follower” rather than as “a Christian,” but the conversation path led to my saying, “I am a Christian.”

Immediately I was asked, “Well, what kind of Christian? Are you a ‘hate-Christian’ or a ‘love-Christian?'”

I am not exactly sure how I replied because I was so shaken by the question. I’m pretty sure I responded with something about Jesus saying that his followers are known by love, but I can’t be certain it made much sense.

I just kept thinking, “This is what it has come to? Really?”

A few days have passed and I am still frustrated at the current reality. But after some reflection, I am more concerned about being able to authentically claim to be “a love-Christian” in an age where people are very familiar with “hate-Christians.”

All of Them

Some people are bitter. Some people are hurting. Some people are stressed. Some people are hardened. Some people are lonely. Some people are overwhelmed. Some people are directionless. Some people are entangled in sin. Some people are desperate. Some people are confused. Some people are fed up. Some people are running on empty. And all of these people need love. May the church be a people who loves them. All of them.

3 Lies

In his writings, Henri Nouwen warns against these three lies we believe: I am what I do. I am what I have. I am what others think and say. Nouwen says the way to overcome these three lies is to remember this truth: I am God’s beloved. It is my hope and prayer that at Christmas we will be reminded yet again that we are God’s beloved. The message of that baby, the Word become flesh, is unmistakable. God loves me. God loves the world.

God’s Beloved

In his writings, Henri Nouwen warns against these three lies we believe: I am what I do. I am what I have. I am what others think and say. Nouwen says the way to overcome these three lies is to remember this truth: I am God’s beloved. It is my hope and prayer that at Christmas we will be reminded yet again that we are God’s beloved. The message of that baby, the Word become flesh, is unmistakable. God loves me. God loves the world.

Deeply Loved

God is love. God loved us so much that God gave us Jesus. God loved us while we were sinners. Let that sink in for a minute. Love. Deep love. Sacrificial love. Unconditional love. Remember these truths the next time you begin to believe the lies of the adversary, the accuser. Whatever your situation or circumstances, remember this core truth: you are loved deeply by God.

Continuous Partial Attention

Linda Stone uses the term, “continuous partial attention” to describe people who are always distracted, never fully present where they are, and never fully engaged with whom they are present. If I’m serious about loving people, I must be fully present with them. One way I can show interest, respect, and love for someone is to be present and really listen to them, it’s the Jesus-way.

A Front Row Seat

Love one another. We read it repeatedly in Scripture. Last week I had a front row seat to watch several people in our church family love one another. They loved generously. They loved unselfishly. They loved sincerely. They loved stubbornly. They loved hopefully. They loved sacrificially. I’m so thankful for a church family that shows me what love is all about. Love one another.