Sunday, 26 April 2009

God Conversations

Why is it so difficult or weird for people to talk about God? I guess everyone has their own ideas about it and a hundred different people would say a hundred different things. It's often the cause of arguments and even wars. Religion is linked with violence, confusion, manipulation, greed and arrogance. Maybe that's why!

But maybe not! I've made all sorts of excuses not to talk to people about my relationship with God (and theirs too) and I've convinced myself that if I do, people will think I'm an arrogant, violent, manipulative weirdo or something like that. Maybe they think that I'm only out to convert them and I don't really care. In reality, that's not true about me. I know my motives are good ones and that I actually care about people, especially if they're missing out on a relationship with God, forgiveness, life to the full and life forever. So why do I bottle it and talk about something else instead? Probably because I'm scared. And I'm scared because I care about myself too much.

A young person once wrote on a prayer wall, 'Will you still love me when you've saved me?'. I hope that as Christians, we're not 'peddling religion'. I hope that we're learning to genuinely love people. I once asked some of the young people at our church, 'What's the best reason to show love to people?'. They had all sorts of answers that seemed really good... 'Because Jesus did', 'Because God says so', or 'So they'll want to know God'. The problem is that the only reason that counts for anything is that we ACTUALLY love people. Actually loving people is the best reason to show it and if we don't actually love them, they'll soon see that we're faking it for our own agenda.

I'm challenged at the moment. Challenged to love God. Challenged to really love the people around me, whether they know him yet or not. I'm challenged to love God and people enough so that I overcome my silly fears of what people think of me and I actually show genuine care and concern for those around me more and more and more. And not just the people that would expect it, but the people who would never expect it. Motivated by genuine love, I'm challenged to do random acts of kindness, to be there for people when times are really desperate and to invite people to draw close to the God who loves them and died for them.

I'm scared. But I can't stop loving God. I can't stop loving people either. I guess I'll just have to get over it, get busy and see what God does.

Jeremiah 20:9