I use to believe there were two kinds of people in the world–the saved and the unsaved. Of coarse, I could pick out which was which based on their actions–actions I was taught to recognize and acknowledge as good or bad. Thus, I could point out “those people” that were going to hell and “these people” who weren’t. I only state this as most of my life revolved around viewing others this way.
I wrote recently that my questions had ceased and, to an extent, this is true. Those initial questions, that I now see as the basis of (my) growing close to God, have caused me to re-evaluate everything I know or thought I knew. These questions seem to be common to many I’ve heard from. What questions have you buried in your heart because you’ve been made afraid of being divisive, wrong, ungodly, rejected, etc..? From my own personal experiences I can say that God is big enough to handle those question with a great amount of patient and love even if others don’t respond well to your new found freedom in Jesus.
Through many months of talking and even wrestling with God, and through many frustrations of trying to back God into a doctrinal corner to get him to be what I wanted him to be, he has led me to many amazing realizations. One of these is that there are two distinct “types” in the world–those who see God’s workings in their life and those who don’t…yet…
When I started seeing God as love and dared to believe him to be good, I began viewing all other events through both my life and all of history from that perspective. I don’t want to go into too many specific details, at least not in this post, but this view point has been liberating beyond words. In fact, I’m seeing how trying to explain it in words can fall woefully short. This has led me to seeing God working in the lives of those who don’t even realize it, whether they have labeled themselves as religious or not. Likewise, many who claim God’s name most often seem to be the most confused (like I had been) when the results of their works start to crumble.
Thousands of years after the initial scriptures were compiled, we still find ourselves pursuing a tribal mindset–I need to get me and mine into heaven/safety and those others are going to hell/have to perish. This isn’t the message that the Bible conveys overall though many have misconstrued it this way. Israel, and now Christians, are to be the light of the world that helps bring all other “tribes” out of that dark-age mindset. Whether it is the U.S. verses another country or “my church” verses “those others”, we still tend to fall flat on our faces even after thousands of years. We’re still concentrating on self-centered, my-tribe-only love instead of other-centered love like Jesus exemplifies, even when it cost him his life.
I write these type things mostly to myself–try to view everyone from the perspective of God working in their lives, and maybe I’ll find how he wants me to be a part of that work–to show others into the love, beauty, and freedom of the Kingdom that is here and now. This isn’t through an agenda of conversion, but through simply living for those that Jesus leads me to. While I’m new to this viewpoint, it’s an exciting prospect to pursue.