We Must Be Better (and an apology)
It happened again today…as it does almost every day. Whether in person or via social media I can’t escape it. It’s on people’s lips, in their hearts and minds and at their fingertips. It’s not isolated. It’s at epidemic levels.
People are frustrated at, disappointed in, tired of and disenfranchised from the church.
And I have to be honest…for the most part I can’t blame them.
We deserve it. We’ve failed in a lot of ways.
As someone who serves on staff for a church I have to say it’s heart breaking. Over and over again I hear how people have given up on church because of a bad experience, because they’ve been burned by someone claiming to be a follower of Jesus or because of a decision a church made.
If you’re someone who claims to be in that fold, who follows Jesus, I have a challenge for you today.
We must be better.
According to the bible, we are ambassadors, representatives of Jesus himself. Our lives, everything we do, everything we say, how we drive, how we treat people, everything we don’t do…they let people know who Jesus is. If we claim to represent him we are telling the rest of the world, “If you want to know what Jesus is like, how he treats people, how he cares for people, then look at my life.” That’s the claim we’re making.
You’re not perfect and you’re not Jesus, but that doesn’t matter. The little mistakes you make should be far overshadowed by the good your life produces.
We must be better.
If you’re on the other side of that coin. Someone who doesn’t follow Jesus or maybe even someone who has been burned by the church or someone claiming to follow Jesus, I need you to hear me now…I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for what you’ve experienced from us. I’m sorry for the times that I’ve been the one who didn’t represent what I claim to believe to the best of my ability. I’m sorry for being the hypocrite.
I may not have been there or anywhere near the situation you experienced, but I am sorry for it. I would argue that there’s a good chance what you experienced probably wasn’t Jesus, but I wasn’t there.
What I can promise you is that to the best of my human ability I will try to live the kind of life that Jesus asks me to live. A life that’s worthy of having his name attached to it. A life that makes people think, “God is good.”
I hope when I encounter you that you are overwhelmed with the kind of love that Jesus lived with. And when I screw up (and I will and do almost everyday) I promise to learn from it and be better.
My friends I’m sorry…we must be better.