Hubs and I get hate mail.
I know right?!?!
Nonetheless, every few months we get some dropped in our lap. The message is always different and always the same.
“You claim to be Christians, But…”
“You are a terrible example of grace..”
“You act like ‘Super-Christians’ but…”
It seems like there is no way in hell that we are important enough to receive such scathing accusation, but it turns out hell doesn’t much care how small you think your light is. All light is an enemy to darkness.
The first time it happened I wanted to put a megaphone to the receiver and scream, “THAT’S WHAT THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT!!!”
But then in the reverberations of that soul scream was a searing whisper, “What if it’s true?”
What if I have no business discipling my kids? Teaching Sunday school? Posting scripture? Speaking about Jesus? What if I’m not qualified to tell someone the gospel? Does my mess make my ministry a mistake?
And right there at the bottom of it all…”Who do I think I am?”
This is where I start to love my hate mail. This is where the records scratch. That’s the question that brings me back around to the first question, “What if it’s true?”
You see, I adore Moses. Freedom Fighter. Miracle Worker. Choosen One. Absolute insecure mess.
He stood in front of a burning bush and asked that question, “Who am I?”
The answer? Not a comforting list of Moses’ positive attributes. Not an excusing of shortcomings. Truth.
Essentially God’s answer was “Who you are doesn’t matter. I AM. And I AM with you.”
God essentially said of course you’re a mess, but I’m not. And sure enough Moses really blew it a few times. He also got it right a few times and was still hated for what shortsighted people saw as bad decisions.
So here we are again. With charges against us. An enemy in front of us. And the question beating in our hearts: What if it’s true?
When haters hurtle those dreaded assertions we are forced to ask that question of ourselves. The answer? Is not a comforting list of our positive attributes. It’s not an excusing of shortcomings.
It’s truth. Of course you aren’t getting it all right. And even if you were, some people just flat wouldn’t like it.
There are no Super-Christians. There aren’t people nailing it and people totally failing at it.
There is only a broken and failed world with cracks in our souls and grace pouring out from nailed hands at the cross. Those cracks are where the Light gets through.
So we can stop trying to manipulate others’ behavior through condemnation and we can stop motivating our own behavior through comparison.
We can just take our cracks to the cross and watch the places we failed get nailed to the cross that brought us freedom.
And when our enemy asks, “Who are you?” we can look that question straight in the eye and say, “I’m a sinner saved by grace and you are asking the wrong question. The real question is who is in me?”
Jesus Christ. The Light of the World.
And all those cracked places that haters claim should disqualify us are transformed into the very places that the Light of the World shines through me.
And before we know it we have tapped into the truth of the gospel so deep within ourselves that it has exploded out of us in a fountain of empathy and compassion. We are no longer just claiming to believe the gospel, but we are fully living it for ourselves.
So let the haters hate. When the dark hurtles toward you fight with Light.
Love and be loved my friends.