I saw a billboard on the way to Nashville and then again coming home. (It was double-sided) I couldn’t take a picture at
70 80 mi. an hour, so I recreated it. Which was easy since it was black and white…no color…absolute, with no room for misinterpretation.
Both times it made me cringe and physically sink down in my seat. I felt defensive and embarrassed when I read it.
This post is really going to rub some of you the wrong way. Feel free to stop reading now.
I am returning from a trip where God was present. He showed up. His spirit was alive and well. Jesus was glorified and the worship was sacred. I’ve not seen this kind of community, maybe ever. Interestingly enough, not one time did I feel defensive or shameful…frightened or remorseful…regretful or resentful…you feelin’ me?
Who knew a billboard could get me this riled up? Or maybe I am just that tired of so-called “Christians” belittling others under the guise of sharing Jesus.
I’m not asking you to condone behavior. I’m not asking you to pretend. I am however asking my Jesus lovin’, God-fearing, friends to avoid making this way of life so dang unattractive.
There are hotties who love Jesus. There are married couples enjoying sex more than once a week, who love Jesus. There are those who watch Modern Family and still love Jesus. Why are we not speaking out? Why is the voice of the Pharisee so much louder than the voice of the Jesus follower?
Stop assuming that people who are living a life that you consider to be less than “good” will be attracted to scare tactics. Shame is not attractive. Fear is not attractive. Guilt is not attractive to anyone…not knowingly.
So, stop it. Stop. Stop using the name of Jesus as a way to be passive aggressive. Just…stop.
Jesus did not attract people by condemning them. He did not come to accuse, he came to save. And as followers of Christ I can’t help but know that we are to do the same.
There need not be accusations in our words and our actions, in our face, in our…anything! Denunciation does not draw anyone, if anything it pushes them further away.
So if you are threatening people with hell to bring them to their Savior, how about enticing them with heaven? How about sharing your personal story of freedom.
How about sitting down and listening to their story. Relate, empathize, be compassionate. Be attractive in a way that has nothing to do with outward appearance.
I believe in heaven and hell. The thought of anyone spending an eternity suffering is unimaginable. This is not about that. That’s an entire post in itself. That said, Tell me how many people you think see or hear a passive aggressive message like, “Jesus is Lord and you know it!” decide that they want our way of life?
There is no life in judgment. There is no life in statements that make people feel small, guilty or shamed.
I don’t want to be the traveling judge and jury. I want to be one who brings light, gives hope and shows purpose everywhere I go. Whether it be the grocery store, doctor’s office, work…everywhere I go. Though I fail often, it’s worth working towards.
What’s your first thought when reading the message on this billboard?