March 7, 2011

::you might NOT be a christian if::

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I had an encounter with a man last year that has kind of rocked my world. He witnessed to me. He was pushy and aggressive and was not content with any of my answers to his ridiculous questions that were supposed to prove that I was indeed heaven bound.



No good came from the conversation. I left frustrated for having been cornered by a man that seemed to have no concern for my spiritual well-being. I left feeling like I was a conquest. A notch on his belt.


However, this encounter started the following thought process.


My relationship with my awesome husband, Jacob, is special and unique. We have a relationship that is unlike any other. No one else has a relationship with Jacob that looks like my relationship with Jacob. He is mine. I love him. I cherish him. I appreciate things about him that no one else can appreciate. We have inside jokes. He knows what I am going to say before I say it. We have special memories that only we share. For instance, there is this one song that makes me smile when it comes on because it takes me to a happy place...a moment of silliness that we shared. {I bet he could tell you what song I'm referring to if you asked him}.


If someone came along and told me that my relationship was not real or genuine or in depth because my relationship with Jacob doesn't look like their relationship with Jacob, I would be very upset. Livid even. Because I know how much I love Jacob. How I long to know him more every day. How I go out of my way to make him happy; to spend time with him.


But no one would do that, would they? That would be...


Over-the-top.
Out-of-line.
Obnoxious.
Intrusive.
Obsurd.


So why would our relationship with Jesus be any different? Why does one persons relationship with Jesus have to look like another? Peter's relationship with Jesus did not look like Mary's relationship…you know, with the denial and all, yet they both loved Jesus very much and Jesus loved them in return.


It makes me think of Jeff Foxworthy {i know, i know...where am i going with this right? Jesus....Jeff Foxworthy???}


But he did that whole stand-up routine:
"You might be a redneck if..."


In this respect it would be:
"You might NOT be a christian if..."


you don't read your bible every single day
you don't pray on your knees for at least an hour
you don't attend church every time the doors are open
you read certain versions of the bible
you watch certain shows
you read certain books
you listen to certain music
you dance
you drink certain beverages
you vote a certain way
you ask questions about faith
you doubt
you go certain places
you are friends with certain people


One person's relationship may not look like everyone else’s.
and that's okay.


[Relationship :: connection, association, involvement]


One persons’ connection, association and involvement with Jesus is not going to look like another persons connection, association and involvement with Jesus…


and that is okay.

20 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you decided to post this!

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  2. lovely. and true. and funny. thanks!

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  3. I loved this! Thank you. For so long, I've been wanting to write a post about how it's all about ONE's relationship with God...not "being religious". So many people say, "I didn't know you were so religious...". That always makes me smile because it gives me the chance to tell them, it's not about religion, it's about a reltionship. :)

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  4. so encouraging! thanks for sharing!

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  5. Smiles and shakes head in total agreement!....and then stops and thinks of how it would be very awkward if my relationship with Jake and yours with Jake were the same ;-)

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  6. thank you for spelling this out so clearly! awesome.

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  7. I loved this!

    Thank you so much for writing this.

    Am a new Christian and learning day by day. This was so well written, and i just love Krystina's follow up to this also.

    Thank you xx

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  8. Awesome post! So very true! Oh, I would add this one - if you take antidepressants! Great list. It gets old doesn't it? Everyone always shoving their doctrine down your throat instead of just being loving, gentle, and kind to SHOW His love?

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

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  9. Thanks for posting this, well written and with your gentle humor it does get to the heart of the matter! Bright blessings...
    Feel free to visit me at: http://strawberryroan.blogspot.com

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  10. awww I love this, Melissa!! Thank you so much! So true, no relationship with Jesus is exactly the same. So amazing you wrote about this, I posted something similar today at TheHomeSpunLife.com under my faith category.

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  11. I find it so sad the way this person approached you. I used to be like him. Not able to see the forest for the trees. Feeling like my words could save another soul. Assuming my way was His way. Not knowing how to live with love. Faith without works is dead and trying to push your faith down someone's throat is pretty much equivalent to choking them.

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  12. This is so powerful- I only wish that those who insist on boxing in Christians could read this and realize how small it is to believe that we all must have the exact same experience with Christ to be a Christian. Thank you so much!

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  13. So glad you shared this. And *so* glad Jesus was interested in knowing -like you say here- Peter, Mary, you, me, and in being known by us, and for the mystery of it all. Thanks for your perspective on this.

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  14. I love this perspective. I've been facing adversity IN my church based on this same idea. My pastoral staff has been telling me that I might not be as happy there because *I* wasn't on fire for God.... the sassy-mouth in me just *had* to respond with "Isn't the whole point to NOT end up on fire?"

    I'm so glad someone else understands that relationships are unique - whether earthly or spiritually.

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  15. What a wonderful reminder that we are not all like!

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  16. GREAT post! You are just the type of person I hope to meet every single day! How about Romans 14:1-13 or James 4:11-12 xoxo~Lori

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  17. Hi Melissa, just stumbled across your blog (super cute!) and this post title captured me. I do think I understand what you are saying, but I can't help but think it could lead to focusing to much on our individuality and less on the glory of Christ. The bible reveals his majesty and our response as Christians (out of love for him) typically resembles those disciplines you listed. Now, I agree that one can go about their relationship with Jesus in unique ways, of course! But should we not, as brothers and sisters, spur one another on towards Godly behaviors? I'm not saying condemn one another for nitty gritty differences but, through patient loving-kindness seek to see ourselves and others continually changed for the glory of God.

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