He kicked again, knocking the other boy down. Jackson took a step back regaining his breath while the other boy stood back up, blood gushing from his nose. Jackson didn’t have a single mark and was bewildered by the fact. The other boy refused to punch back. Jackson took another swing aiming for the other boy’s ear. His thrust was evaded as the other boy touched the cross pendant around his neck. “I love you. God loves you,” was all the other boy would say.
Jackson threw a sharp left hook catching the other boy in the jaw, yet, he seemed seemingly unaffected. Jackson lost his balance with the force of his swing and stumbled. As he tripped Jackson saw a glint in the other boy’s eye as the boy stepped forward. Jackson braced himself for a vicious knee to his gut. But it never came. Instead the other boy grabbed Jackson’s arm steading him and simultaneously wrapping his arms around Jackson as if in a hug. “God loves you,” was all that Jackson heard. And the look of God in this fight overwhelmed him, making him fall on his knees and start crying even though he had no have a scratch on him.
Many people view God as a two thousand year old book that has no relevance in today’s culture. Many others see it as hypocrites using religion to mistreat or judge others. If you are one of these people, I sincerely apologise. As Christians, our jobs are not judge, jury, and executioner. Rather, we are the witnesses. Not to judge or to be rude but rather share what we know and allow others to make their own opinion.
One of the best lines I have ever heard is, “Let your reputation precede you in such a way, so that when someone tries to tarnish it, no one will believe the accusation” (Unknown). If we live this way it can infect others, allowing them to see how to live. Yet this lifestyle is not common. More commonly we see bigots and rudeness than we see a twenty dollar bill in a homeless man’s cup. So I must ask why that is? Could it be because to see into a homeless man’s cup, we would have to approach? We would have to give to him?
“Treat a man as if he had a fine reputation to protect, and he will usually endeavor to deserve it.” (― Orson Scott Card, Pathfinder). God tells us to treat everyone with a presumption of love and not hate. But this does not mean not pointing out aspects not pleasing to God. Our job as Christians is to hold each other accountable but not with a pointed finger but rather an open hand, ready to help each other through a difficult situation. Our job as Christians is to turn the other cheek and be willing. Our job as Christians is to not to singularly live like Christ, but to BE the life of Christ all together; To accept others with open arms but be willing to hold each other accountable in difficult times.
“The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 10:4). -- In the haste of a disagreement, one shall try to falsify God with no evidence but rather just say “God is not real.”
When We Pray by Tauren Wells
Sharing Hope for the Next Generation