by:  Cris Corzine-McCloskey

I was finally able to go to church on Sunday. All because the President called church “essential” and said our Country needed prayer. For the Christian community, this was an obvious win. We’ve been saying that church is essential for weeks, and we have been getting quite vocal about it. However, the louder we have gotten, the more I’ve started thinking about what God considers essential.

We don’t need to look further than John 3:16 for that answer. It says, “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever will believe in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.” There you have it. What God considers essential is all the people in this lost and broken world. He loved them back when those words were written, and He loves us now. For some reason that’s beyond me, we have remained the desire of His heart. No matter who we are or what we have done.

I have some friends that do not share my faith in Jesus. Some of them have lifestyles most Christians wouldn’t agree with. But, I know for certain God considers them essential. So much so that He gave His only Son to win their hearts. I’ve been trying to tell them that for a long time.

I don’t think they have a problem with Jesus, though. I believe they have a problem with Christians. And non-believers are starting to have some strong opinions about the way we Christians are conducting ourselves in this. Sometimes in our zeal to have our rights recognized, we forget there is a lost world watching us. I’m not sure we always represent Jesus the way He would want us to.

The Apostle Paul said love is the most important Christian virtue we can have. He said without it, it doesn’t matter how fancy we talk, how great our faith is, or even how generous we are to the poor. He said if our real motivation isn’t our love for people, we are nothing more than a “clanging gong.” I think that’s Bible speak for a blowhard. He also said a person could even go to their death as a martyr for their faith in Christ, but if love wasn’t their motive, their death would be in vain.

That speaks to me because I was pressuring my pastor a couple of weeks ago to start having services. I told him I was willing to go to jail for my right to go to church. The problem was, I wasn’t feeling any love for anyone. I was just mad and wanted my way. I’m glad my pastor isn’t a hothead like I am.

I’m also glad my non-believing friends didn’t witness my tantrum. I owe them more than that. I owe them an accurate representation of Jesus. Most of us Christians owe the world better than what we are giving them. After all, Jesus put His light inside us so we could show others the way. Not so we could get our own way.

If you want to follow God’s executive order and do what He considers essential, go make friends with non-believers. Especially the ones that don’t look like you or live like you do. Quit trying to push your faith on them, and don’t make them your project. Make them your friends. Show them how essential they are. Show them they are more important to you than your rights. If we all start doing that, we will quit being clanging gongs and begin being a symphony fit for a King.

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One response

  1. The world is watching my response as a Christian. So when I complain about not getting my way it becomes part of my Christian witness. No one ever told me I couldn’t worship. No one took any constitutional rights away from me. I was asked to worship differently. But, I complain and blame. It says more about my heart than it does about the authorities over me. Instead, God calls me to love!! Thanks be to God!!

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