I’m an avid reader. I love books. I love reading news. And yes, even blogs.
It seems my reading recently all kind of ties together. I won’t share the article list here, but basically? These articles have been about the way Christians treat each other and the world in general. These articles have been about the way the church behaves. About the reputation Christians have.
Spoiler: it’s not a pretty picture.
Sadly, Christians are often known for being hurtful. Downright hateful at times. Inward focused. Selfish. Uncaring.
Basically, anything but love.
This is not the way it is supposed to be!
I love 1 Corinthians 12. Spiritual gifts. The picture of the body of Christ. How every member of the church is unique and important. How when one part of the church hurts, the entire church should hurt as well. How the body of Christ doesn’t function well except when all of the body is healthy. How varied the gifts are in a church, and how we should eagerly desire the greater gifts God bestows upon us.
But there’s an interesting message in the last verse, a teaser of sorts.
“And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
When you read this passage of Scripture, you can’t help but flip the page or continue reading. A more excellent way! 1 Corinthians 13 is gonna be GREAT!
The love chapter.
If I have amazing gifts, but not love, I AM NOTHING.
If I give my life, but have no love, I GAIN NOTHING.
Love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It’s not selfish, nor rude. Love sees no joy in wrong. It bears all things, keeps no record of wrongs. It never ends.
Love is the more excellent way.
Here’s my point.
As a church plant, we have a chance to change the narrative.
How will we be defined? How will we be known? What will people say about us? How will they remember us?
For Renovation Church, that’s all still in the process of being defined.
And I believe that if we are truly to make a difference in our community, we have to choose love. We have to choose the more excellent way.
Now don’t give me wrong, I don’t honestly believe any true follower of Jesus goes through life intentionally looking to hurt other people. I don’t believe that any Christian intentionally tries to give Jesus a bad name. I don’t believe many Christians intentionally look for conflict.
But somehow, that’s the narrative for Christians in general. It’s not necessarily true, but as they say, perception is reality. It doesn’t take many poor choices to form this narrative. It takes one or two bad decisions, magnified and embellished by rumor, gossip, and maybe even a little media attention.
So true or not, the narrative exists. And it exists because at some point in time, Christians did not choose love.
So that’s our challenge.
Changing the narrative.
Are you up for it?
[NOTE: This post originally appeared on the Renovation Voices section of the Renovation Church website. I serve as an elder at Renovation, and write fairly regularly on topics relevant to our church as a member and leader there.]
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