What happens when we put rules above people? We get what we have now. There is no agreement and no love lost. We just end up telling others how to live, or really, how NOT to live. They don’t see anything but hate behind our eyes. Whether we mean to or not, we show them that Jesus won’t love them.
Not everyone I know is a Christian. The rules in the Bible are there for Christians, so why would I try to force everyone I know to follow them? If I blast certain activities or ideas, people would probably write me off. “Oh there she goes again. She is so hateful.”
On the other hand, when I am kind to people and put my money where my mouth is, others take me seriously. They see that I am not just some religious nut, but that I am a believer in Jesus. They ask me for advice or prayer. They know I am not there to be their judge and jury.
If we really want to be rule followers, let’s start with the biggest rule that Jesus gave us: to love Him and love others. That is what we are missing in the world. If we want to attract others to God, we have to reach out and help or even just listen to people. Sure, we should be following God’s rules, but why should we assume that nonbelievers will? When they see us quietly living our lives for God, while we are giving and serving, it has much more of an impact than telling them what to do.
They say that kids do what you do and not what you say and that is true of anyone. I tell my kids that I care the most about the kind of person they are and less about the grades they get. I want them to reach out to the left out kid and be friends with everyone. But if they don’t see this behavior from me, why would they take me seriously? It is the same with people around us: they will more likely follow the behavior we model for them.
What I am really saying is that just loudly disagreeing with someone will not change their mind. What will have a chance at changing their mind is when I find ways to help the problems I am passionate about. Instead of getting angry about abortion, maybe I can foster or adopt a child. If that is not doable, I can help someone who does foster or adopt. Instead of getting up in arms about immigration, I can help with an English as a Second Language class and assist those who are asking for help. We need solutions, not shouting matches.
This applies to so many areas of our lives and people are always watching how we speak and act. I want people to see me live humbly, seek justice, love mercy, and show compassion. I want to be who I ask my kids to be, and do so quietly.
Linking with Holley Gerth