Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be called a Christian. Don’t get me wrong — I am not ashamed of Jesus. It’s just that the behavior of some people who claim to follow Christ often looks so opposite of what He desires of us that I cringe at the association. There are so many bad attitudes, hateful words, and fingers being pointed. And there are those whose talk is good, but their walk does not match.
Obviously, no one is perfect except Christ Himself. But there seems to be such a growing “us versus them” mentality. It’s as though Christianity is an exclusive club and no one else is allowed to join. Really? The only exclusive thing about Christianity should be that the Jesus of the Bible is the only way to the one true God. How will people ever know the love of Christ when there is so little about Christians that is appealing?
My youngest daughter competed in a gymnastics meet last weekend. She was feeling pretty confident before the meet, especially in anticipation of the balance beam, which is one of her best events. Well, she fell off the beam during her routine. Twice.
On the way home afterwards, she said to me, “Mom, I think I know why I fell off the beam today.” I braced myself for a string of excuses, but she surprised me. “It felt like God was telling me not to get too full of myself.”
Wow. She’s 12. Out of the mouths of babes. I’m so glad she “got” the lesson. She could have blamed that fall on any number of legitimate excuses, but she didn’t. Her ears were tuned in.
Many people think America is heading for disaster. There are excuses, blaming, and fault-finding with everyone who is supposedly behind it. But what if it isn’t all “the enemy” or “those evil people?”
Sometimes God allows us to fall in attempt to turn our focus back on Him. The Lord spoke to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13 by saying, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land, or send a plague among My people...” What might something look like today that God could send to shake things up? Crazy weather? A bad economy? Political divisions?
He goes on in verse 14 to say, “If MY people, who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Did you notice God didn’t say to blame everything on everyone else? He wants His people to humble themselves. In John 10:28, Jesus promises that no one can snatch His sheep from His hand. Yet in Revelation 3:16, He says that He’s about to spit the church in Laodicea out of His mouth because they think they are something when really they aren’t.
What if, instead of going down the tubes, America is ripe for a time of revival? I used to picture revival as a big church tent meeting where hundreds of people chose to follow Christ for the first time. But to revive something means it had to have life in the first place. Think about reviving someone with CPR, or reviving yourself with food or a glass of water. Revive means to bring life back. Revival has to start with the people of God.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.