so because we stand in awe of the one true Lord, we make it our aim to convince all people of the truth of the gospel; God sees who we really are, and I hope in some way that you’ll look deeply into your consciences to see us as well. But we hope that you understand that we are not trying to prove ourselves or pull together a resume that will impress you. We are simply hoping you will find a sense of joy by connecting with us. 2 Corinthians 5:11-12 the Voice
i had a conversation with a friend the other night and we were talking about how people view Christians and the church in general as just trying to convert people. how we really don’t want to be friends with them, we just want them to come to our church. to be on our side. often to think how we think.
now let me be clear, i want you to come to church because there, you might here the greatest story you will ever hear. you might find friends and community that you will cherish for life, but i don’t get extra points or a quarterly bonus if you do. i’m not a salesman, but i do believe in what you might find in spending time with me and my friends. would i love you to know this God that i talk of? absolutely. am i going to force feed Him down your throat to convince you? definitely not. like that passage says, i’m not trying to prove myself to you. i shouldn’t have to.
for those of you who connect with me, i hope that you experience a certain joy in my presence and i hope it is because you see who i really am. not some cheap fabrication that i have made for myself like a Halloween costume. and i occasionally put that costume on because i want you to like me. so i’m sorry for the times when i’m a fake and a liar.
but my real hope is that you do look deeply into yourself and see that i genuinely care for you. and i may have messed up and hurt you, and i will probably do it again, but at the end of the day. i do want you to know that care, and i’m sorry if i tried to bully or impress you.
it is my aim to convince all people, even you, of the truth of the gospel. but i won’t do it by beating you over the head with a 300 lb King James bible. i won’t belittle your political or moral ideals. i won’t demand that you act or believe a certain way.
i hope that the convincing will come out of how i love. out of how i say “you make a good point” when we have coffee or a beer. out of listening to you and how God may already be moving in your life. out of keeping my mouth closed when i think i have the right theological treatise that will answer your question.
so most of all today, i wish you would experience joy in a small thing. i wish you moments that are soaked in peace. i wish an overwhelming chance at community. and if you read this, know that i am for you and whether you believe it or not, so is a very real, very loving, God.