Living Up To Your Standards

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Standards, it’s something we all claim to have.
We can, or cannot, do or say something based on our standards.
Our standards are at the root of every decision we make, every word we say and every action we make.
We associate with people of equal standards, or we avoid them due to their lack of standards.

I wonder, what if Jesus only associated with people of equal or greater standards than himself.
What if He lived according to the standard He set?
What if the decisions He made were based on His standards rather than based on His love for us?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this standard we all claim to have just a way of secretly judging one another?

We actually have some denominations that teach that we should avoid unbelievers, like the adulterers, and the murderers, the sexually perverse.
I for one am bothered by this, not because I condone the behaviour but because Jesus said to love one another, He said to love your enemy.
We can’t avoid unbelievers, that’s just silliness, we’d have to live like a cult hiding in the Appalachian mountains, have supplies delivered in because we just can’t hang out with sinners, uh how about no.
How does a Christian spread the love of Jesus if they hole themselves up in a cave and never talk to anyone?
If society had their way this is what they would have us do, keep quiet about our relationship with Jesus, they don’t want to hear it, stop imposing your beliefs on us, they would say.
People would have you believe that unbelief is on the rise, and that everyone is turning away from the faith.
First of all this is simply not true, do the research yourself if you don’t believe me.
Second, if all your freinds jump off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge?
(Remember that one?)

How do we talk about not judging and at the same time, we judge?
I know I’m guilty, I say things about people all the time.
It has occurred to me that I’m holding unbelievers to a standard that I myself cannot attain.
Think of it like this, if I am in the eighth grade in Canada and I achieve straight A’s, and you are in the eighth grade in Europe and achieve straight A’s, can we hold each other to the same standard? No, because the curriculum is different.

I was fortunate enough to be born into a Christian family, raised with Christian beliefs, so this is the standard that I try to live up to.
How could I approach someone who was born into secularism and expect them to accept my way, my standards, no questions asked? I can’t.
The same goes for an unbeliever, they can’t expect me to live up to a standard that I’ve never even thought of.

This is where grace comes in, this is where love comes in.
I’m not better than anyone because I was born into a Christian family, but I do have a responsibility, not to make unbelievers conform to my standard, but to, at least try to open the airways of discussion when it comes to Jesus.

That’s the whole point, Christianity is not about how good we are, it’s about how good Jesus is.
We don’t earn our salvation through good works, we do good works because Jesus died for us.

Listen, I walk with Jesus, He lived the life that I could not, He died the death that I deserve.
The only difference between me and an unbeliever is that I have accepted what I am and who Jesus is, unbelievers are exactly that, unbelievers.
When I judge an unbeliever for his or her actions I’m taking the control away from God, who am I to do that?
The Bible is specific in what my job is, it’s to spread the gospel, not to judge or even change their heart, only God can change a heart, but to make people aware that they don’t have to live up to any standard.

I’ve had conversations with unbelievers that have gone in a completely different direction than I thought they would, I don’t know why, but in my mind I figured if I told an unbeliever about Jesus they would instantly convert to Christianity, repent of their sins and we’d meet again at church on Sunday, or in heaven.
Boy was I wrong, if this is the age of information then people have way too much of it, everywhere you turn there is more info on everything except Jesus, the only thing you read about Jesus is negative, or so it seems.
All this information results in people thinking that they’ve got it all figured out, science has the answers they’re looking for, society simply explains God away, using what they call logic and rational thought, or if that doesn’t work they just reject God altogether. I see it as marred logic but again our standards are different.

People, or unbelievers I should say, are trying to take God out of the equation, and it disturbs me to no end, I’ve heard them attack God’s character, His sovereignty, even His goodness, but I believe Jesus said it best when he was dying on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The question is, how do we, in a world of pluralism, in a society of people wrapped up in themselves, spread the gospel without pushing people away?
The very mention of Jesus in a conversation is only ensuring that conversation will end, quickly.
Christians are already labeled as intolerant, the moment we confess Jesus is Lord people start looking for excuses to get away from us.

Our children will follow their freinds at school and if they aren’t Christian, our kids will be left out, our kids will be the ones that are bullied, this saddens me because the very world that teaches tolerance are the ones who won’t tolerate our beliefs.

What do we do then to spread the gospel?
How do we win the heart of an individual, if they won’t let you in?
How do you get to the person if their head is in the way?

I read some comments the other day on another blog by atheists who say the same thing we say “all you can do is show people the truth, and hopefully one day they will accept it.” Yes, an atheist said that.

So I would like some help on this, if you are Christian, how do you talk to unbelievers about Jesus?
If you are an unbeliever, are you willing to at least hear us out? The same way you want us to hear you out?

I know the way these comment threads go when it comes to this topic, so please keep it civil, negative comments from both sides will be deleted, I just want to know how to open up the discussion in a peaceful way.

Posted from WordPress for Android

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