Beware - serious "religious" talk ahead for my Non-religious readers...lol :)
This is for those of you who think you are too bad, too sinful, too far away. For those of you who think you are too imperfect to be used of God. For those of you who have issue with something someone in the church said/did to you in the past.
Since when do Christians have to be perfect? And why, oh why, do Christians try to come across as being better than everyone else? Since when it that a requirement? Christians make a choice to follow God, to accept Jesus, to read their Bible, to try and be "good" people. But being "good" really has nothing to do with it. Church-goers/Bible thumpers/Jesus freaks or whatever you want to call them are people too! We are human and make mistakes. We say stupid things. We fall short. We sin. And that's why we need God!
My husband complains that the ones in the church are sometimes the worse ones. I've grown up seeing that man in the church who thinks he's "holier than thou" say things to people that are hurtful, chastise people for ridiculous non-sense. I've been there when tradition has gotten in the way of truth. I've seen people walk in the doors of the church, get "saved", and then the next day be out causing strife. I've seen it my whole life! But isn't that the point? Didn't Jesus die for sinners? For those who fail? Isn't church the best place for the worse ones, the broken ones, to be?
I am fascinated by the stories in the Bible, it's full of "normal" people who God chose to use in incredible ways.Here are some of my favourites:
Samson was a man with incredible strength who God chose to destroy the Philistines. He was a Nazirite and, as such, could not shave his head, cut his hair, drink alcohol, or else he would lose that strength. But Samson had one crazy temper, went on slaughtering sprees, and had a thing for the ladies. He drove the Philistines mad and eventually told the secret of his God-given strength to his wife, Delilah, who then handed him over to his enemies. He used his final strength to serve God.
King David was a shepherd boy who loved his father and served God with a passion. He was a great poet and musician and quite good looking. Most know him best for slaughtering the giant with a little stone in a slingshot. David was a warrior who fought many battles and brought God's people together. But David was also manipulative, sexually-unrestrained, a murderer, and had a dysfunctional family he let get out of control. He was just a teenager when he killed Goliath and around 30 when he became king. He was seriously flawed but God used him greatly.
The Adulterous Woman was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for punishments by a group of men who called themselves "holy" but were a bunch of hypocrites. Jesus said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone" and when none could speak up, Jesus forgave her. She was guilty, yes indeed, but Jesus saw past that and sent her on her way.
Saul was a man bent on destroying Christians everywhere. He was fierce and could not be swayed from his beliefs until the day he envisioned God on the road to Damascus. He then changed his name to Paul and became a great missionary for Christ. He didn't let his past get in the way of what God had in store for his future.
See? We don't have to be perfect people (thank God!) - we simple have to be use-able!
And whether you attend church or not, share my faith or not, this message can be applied to any area of life - Don't let the past get in your way! Don't ever let someone tell you you aren't good enough. We are all human and we all share the same sorrows and joy.
God is my judge. He's your judge. And he's the judge of the person who wronged you. God forgives us all (that's why he's God, no?) and we all deserve forgiveness.
And there concludes my sermon for today...hehe...Amen :)