Friday, January 23, 2015

What Athiests and Non-Believers Have Right


The multimillion-dollar franchise starlet said it.

"I want to wake up every single day and be the best version of me.  There is no room for fear.  Zero" (Shailene Woodley).

She's not alone in this desire to live life well, though.
Others join her and add some feelings particularly pointed at Christians.

Below many of the highly popular Christian YouTube worship videos, one can find comment after comment and argument after argument where believers and non-believers discuss anything from God's realness to Christians' hypocritical lifestyle.

You know, I've noticed something in some of these discussions, and I'm starting to think that maybe these atheists and nonbelievers have gotten something very right.

The questioning of why Christians get so caught up in their doctrinal arguments that they stop impacting people for Jesus - 
The emphasis on living like each day is to be enjoyed -
The view that we can do good and help other humans -
The choosing to just live and not get so caught up inside yourself that you're immobilized - 
These thoughts are often underlying or plain to see in the YouTube comments.

Atheists and non-believers are frustrated by Christians so caught up in denominational doctrinal disputes and churchy politics that they forget Jesus lived His life among the people.
They're baffled at why Christians - who claim to have such hope - do not enjoy the days that they call "gifts" from God.
They're angry at Christians who do not use their talents and abilities for the sake of those who are here on earth.

Maybe Christians should be frustrated, baffled, and angry at these very things, too.

Jesus came to earth to serve people (Matt. 20:28).
We've been given the hope of salvation that's an anchor for our souls, and this same Savior came to give us life, life to the full (Heb. 6:19; Jn. 10:10).
We're told to go into the world and to love others.

Why are we not rooted in in this hope and reaching the people as we live each day in our purpose - a purpose that brings freedom?

 "I want to wake up every single day and be the best version of me.  There is no room for fear.  Zero" (Shailene Woodley).

Shouldn't we Christians be able to have this desire in a way that no one else can?

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18a).

We can wake up and desire to be the very best versions of ourselves - versions being transformed into the image of Christ?

As we are being transformed, we can further be rooted in the promises of God.

He'll give us rest (Matt. 11:28).  He supplies all our needs (Phil. 4:19).  His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9).  He'll give us more strength (Isa. 40:29).

We can be the best versions of ourselves when we obey Him who gives such promises and when we live by faith:

"... Fear God and keep his commandments.  For this is the whole duty of man" (Ecc. 12:13).

"I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).

We are enabled to be the best "us" we can be when we realize that Jesus is all we ever need.

This is freedom.

We can do all this because we have no reason to fear.
We've been given a man to trust.
We've been told to love.

It's now our choice to respond.

It's my prayer that the negative Christian stereotype can be reversed. 
It's my prayer that Christians would be known as some of the most raw and vulnerable people around who are so consumed with caring for others that they may even forget about themselves in the best sort of way.

May we learn to trust that Christ is enough, and we can live free in the promises of God.
May we learn to love God so much that our actions are full of love to others.
May we learn to laugh every day because this hope is what gives us a basis for living, and anything that comes in this living is ultimately in His control; we can have joy even despite the pain and create happiness by loving what He's given us even more.

May we never cease to love the moments that take our breath away as our whole lives seem to breathe out the message of salvation.

May we learn to live.

© 2015 Deborah Hope Shining

2 comments:

  1. Amen! Wake up call! But yet one can defend the Christian faith as Paul and peter did against False Teachers and Prophets who rise within our church! But best is a LIFE WELL LIVED!

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  2. Hey Daniel! Yes, that is so true; we are definitely able to defend the faith in a manner like Paul and Peter which is very important! I agree with you, though, that a life well lived can truly speak louder than words, and we would do well to remember that people are watching our actions whether we like it or not. It's my prayer that we would represent Christ well!

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