I don’t believe for one second Jesus walked the streets with his head held high disregarding the people around Him. That He had a scheduled agenda that was booked for the holy rollers only. That He refused to step foot into the places of entertainment He didn’t involve himself in. I don’t believe for one second Jesus looked at someone who was was in trouble and shrugged his shoulders saying, “Sorry, it was your decision that led you here.” He just didn’t. This is Jesus we’re talking about. And I don’t know where along the line Christians developed this polluted doctrine that spending time with sinners is a sin. That screams judgement louder than any word departing from our lips could. Christians, who are supposedly the most loving of people, who won’t even give a second to turn their head to those who don’t act the same as them.
When I think of Jesus, I think of someone who is present. I think if Jesus were here today, He wouldn’t be spending every breathing second with the preachers. Am I saying I think Jesus would down at the club busting a few moves and sharing a few drinks? Not exactly. But I do, I really do believe He wouldn’t dissipate every time a party was near. I think He would sit back, and have conversation all while being observant. Making sure no one was leaving to drive while they were intoxicated. Driving them home if needed. I don’t believe He would drive down the crazy one way streets in Atlanta looking at all the homeless and labeling them as drug addicts. I think He would buy a sandwich, and go and sit with them. Not shoving the Bible in their face and damning them to hell, but just having conversation with a set of clear eyes. I don’t believe that when the new face shows up on a Sunday morning at church with the stench of alcohol that Jesus would be turning around raising his eye brow and making ‘that’ eye contact with his peers. You know, the look you give each other without having to say a word because you’re both thinking the same thing. No, I believe the biggest grin would appear on His face, that His eyes would lock with theirs, and He would walk up to them with a hug so excited that they were there. When I think of Jesus, I think safe. I think genuine. I think home. When I think of Christians, I think of hesitant. And I’m not sorry for stepping on a few toes. Because I love love love the church and all that jazz. But as someone who does and notices how tainted our genuineness is, how much more does someone who isn’t in the church see it?
It’s just wild, ya know. Because Jesus, and being in love with Jesus is the greatest joy my heart has ever encountered. And overtime, I’ve found that a lot of people growing up knew God, and when I speak to them I can’t help but ask, what happened? Because that was me. You never looked at a Sunday and didn’t see my family at church. Then later on in the years, I was high as a kite with a drink in my hand not knowing where the heck I was. So, I get it. But, the response, it gets me every time –
“I grew up.”
Oh, it feels like there are weights tied to my heart and it’s being struck down every time I hear those words. We all grow up. It’s inevitable that we as humans live our whole lives as little people with our innocent childlike mindsets. We all grow up. But growing up doesn’t mean you have to let go of your dignity. Growing up doesn’t mean you erase morals. Growing up doesn’t mean everything you were taught as a child was a fantasy. Growing up doesn’t mean searching the sea and sleeping around till you find what you were looking for. Growing up doesn’t mean your faith dies. Yes, growing up means a lot of heartbreak. Means a lot of mistakes. Means a lot of changes. But it also means stabilizing yourself on a good foundation.
It’s so easy to be thrown into this grown up thing and be sucked into all that society is obsessed with. But growing up means seeing Jesus in the places you didn’t before. Discovering what you’re going to do with life while you have it, because there’s a purpose behind it. Growing up means defining your values. Growing up, that doesn’t mean sweeping Jesus under the carpet. No, that means finding Him a little bit more each day. And as Christians, we gotta portray Jesus in the way who He truly is. Clean eyes, overflowed heart, and humble enough to walk the valley as many times as you would the mountain.
Jesus… man, that guy. I love that guy. I want to be like that guy.