I was a sixteen years old fresh, born again Christian, when I went to a skating rink that doubled as a teen club one Saturday night. Some of my friends were raised Pentecostal, so they didn’t think a newly confessing young Christian should be going roller skating. They wanted me to attend a church event with them, but I chose to lace up my skates. I remember it like it was yesterday… I was dancing on the floor with a really cute girl named Melani, hoping my dance moves were good enough to get her phone number and ask her to be my girlfriend.
As soon as the fast song finished, a slow jam started to play. I had some fresh gum in my mouth, so I was ready… just in case our lips found their way to each other. Puppy love dripped from the corners of our eyes as we gazed at each other under the shiny lights of the disco ball. Like the sound of a record being scratched because someone bumped into it passing by, a voice came on the loud speaker and announced “Kirk Franklin, please come to the front; Kirk Franklin, please come to the front.” Afraid that my dancing partner could see the humiliation in my eyes, I made up a quick lie. I don’t remember what it was, but I know it was a lie because what else can you say that could get you out of your name being blasted over the speakers of a teen club full of TEENAGERS?
As I slowly walked to the front I saw my friends I’d mentioned earlier, standing there waiting on me. It was around eleven o’clock at night, and they’d come because they were upset that I chose rollerskating over church.
They spoke to me in such an embarrassing way, humiliating me to the point that onlookers laughed loudly at the scene.
“You’re a Christian,” they yelled. “What are you doing at a teen club?”
The message was clear. I was wrong. They were spiritual. What they didn’t know or failed to learn is that the one ingredient that causes a person to grow and mature to a place where they can see something about their Christian process is the ingredient called LOVE. Everything else is guilt, embarrassment and condemnation. Those ingredients are never rich with the nourishments to grow.
I carried that humiliation for years… and it’s unfortunate that many Christians today continue to use those same tools in their process of trying to win people to Christ.
I don’t know where people got the idea from the Bible that holding a picket sign outside of an event would win the hearts of unbelievers… espectially since many of those sign holders will spend hours in the hot sun just to yell at people they disagree with to reaffirm their seat in Hell.
I don’t know your name, I don’t know where you’re from, I’ve never invited you over to my home to have some lemonade and cookies, but I will shout at you and belittle you in the name of Jesus until you except him into your heart… Yeah right.
Jesus was the dopest communicator in the world. He knew people’s culture, their occupations, good and bad. Prostitutes and tax collectors alike, his skill was winning your heart, touching your heart, so you could see that he had something greater. I don’t know where being mean can bring a soft spot to land so people can know your savior.
That’s the point right? Or is the point being…RIGHT.
Some of the people you don’t like, you don’t know. But you don’t posture yourself to even get to know them. You just know them as a different race, religion, sexuality, or status. Before that, they are people. Humans. Made in the image of God. And the God you want them to see, is the God you must be. Every person that has touched my life for the better has held my hand and walked out life with me. I saw the light of Christ in their lifestyle and the change I desired was from what they modeled. Not by telling me everyday I’m wrong and to get right, but to show me what great things God had for me in exchange for my own things. They didn’t exclude the main ingredient: LOVE.
I’m tired of the loudmouth Christians who never show their brokenness. Their lack of soft hearts and soft words instead of remembering the fact that HE THAT WINNETH A SOUL IS WISE. Yelling and condemning are not love tools, and TRUTH can NEVER be absent of love.
If that’s not your strong point, be quiet.
Ask God to clean your heart so that you’re not a part of the problem but the solution.
I think its time for believers to have a makeover. To ask God how do we speak to the world, so they leave with the residue that someone bigger was speaking. Not just the lady with the bull horn.
Of course, I didn’t get the chance to ask Melani for her phone number. I was too ashamed.
If shame was the mission my friends were on that night, they succeeded.
Let’s don’t keep making the same mistake.