Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jesus Makes Me Uncomfortable

I consider myself an observer. I like to watch how things work or how people interact.

One thing I have been observing is this idea among Christians that God's grace allows us to do as we please with no consequences. As long as we love people then everything will be just fine. Claiming that Jesus only accepted and loved.

Unfortunately, that isn't exactly the example that Jesus gave us. Yes, he loved. Yes, he accepted. But, he also addressed the issue of sin. He is truth AND grace. He got angry when he witnessed people using the church to make money (Matthew 21:12-13). He confronted the adulteress woman about her current living conditions (John 4:1-26). Jesus befriend a tax collector - considered cheaters and thieves (Luke 19:1-9).

Those are only 3 examples. Jesus did not and does not have do-what-you-want-it's-cool attitude toward sin. All throughout scripture God promises us provision, protection, and communion with him should we commit our lives to him. Obedience is the key that give us access to the abundant life he has readily available for us.

When Jesus encountered individuals or groups there was always a discomfort there. Either you were uncomfortable with your sin and ran to Jesus for forgiveness OR you were uncomfortable with Jesus and you ran from him.

I believe with all my heart that we cannot encounter Jesus and remain comfortable. We cannot have a true relationship with him and willfully continue in a life that does not honor him.
The adulteress in John 4, after talking with Jesus, went and told the whole town about their conversation. Many of them became believers (John 4: 27-30, 39-42). Not only did the woman's life change, many of the people in her town came to know Jesus.

Jesus had dinner with the tax collector, Zacchaeus. The result of the encounter changed his life forever. Luke 19:8 says "But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look,Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Did you notice the phrase "here and now"? He could not continue in the lifestyle he had before because of his time with Jesus. He was no longer comfortable with being a crook.

If we say that we want to treat people the way the Jesus did then we have to follow his example. In order for us to know how Jesus lived and loved we must get to know him and his word. Jesus fully relied on the Holy Spirit, he interacted with (but was not influenced by) the lost, broken, and hopeless, and he loved them in such a way that they know the grace of God yet were not comfortable with sin. 

I pray for Jesus to make me uncomfortable with the things in my life that do not honor him. I get uncomfortable when I find my actions and thoughts are conforming to the pressures and influence of society and the widely accepted ways that go against the way God intends us to live. The Bible is God's word. It has stood the test of time. What he says stands true regardless of what the government or society or media tells us is right or acceptable.

To mold or water down or make comfortable the gospel to fit your lifestyle is no gospel at all.

Does Jesus make you uncomfortable?