My friend posted a picture today on Facebook that said, “I don’t understand why I’m considered arrogant for thinking that I am temporary, insignificant, I’m a blink in the cosmic eye and that it has existed long before me and won’t remember me very long. I’m arrogant for that but the Christian who claims that he is the reason the universe exists is humble in his ideology.”
Wow. Where have we Christians gone wrong? When did we become so full of ourselves that we have convinced so many people that we see ourselves as the reason that the universe exists? Perhaps many of us do see it that way. We need a good knock in the head.
I have been convicted lately of how much I use the word “I” in what I talk about and write about. I get really frustrated with hypocrisy, and I never want to be guilty of pointing a finger at someone else when I have issues in my own life as well. Since when has it been my job to point a finger at anyone else anyway? My job as a Christian is to proclaim truth and to live out that truth in my life. Just as I have been given grace, I need to learn to handle myself with grace toward other people as well. It is often hard to not lash out at the many comments sent my way, and I often want to defend myself when I know that wisdom calls me to a higher standard. I would never want to destroy a work that God is already doing in someone’s life. Who knows what lies behind the comments and accusations?
We humans are not the center of the universe. Our lives are temporary, and the universe has existed long before us. Most of us will die and the generations after us will soon forget about us. This is the fact and circle of life. However, one thing about this statement that is very untrue is the claim that our lives are insignificant. Without Christ, this would be true. However, because our Creator loves us, we have significance. He is the Center of the Universe. Everything was made for Him and it is only in Him that we have life. In the grand scheme of things, we are small…much smaller than we would like to be or admit. However, as His children, we have significance and purpose.
This same person posted another picture that said: “When you finally care more about this (picture of a poverty-stricken child holding a baby) than this (picture of an embryo), then you can call yourself ‘pro-life’.” She has hit the nail on the head of something we really need to pay attention to. How many of us have stood on the side of the road holding a pro-life sign, yet cannot call to mind when we have thought seriously about adoption ourselves or taken it upon ourselves to walk with someone in real physical need? I have been reading the Gospels lately, and Jesus condemned the religious leaders and know-it-alls because they so readily protested moral “rights” and “wrongs” but never lifted a finger to do anything about it themselves. They sat down on their thrones overlooking the world and enjoyed their comfortable position. Heaven forbid this picture would be what people have in mind when they think about the Church today. I think this may be the case to some.
However, before I take this to the level that many radical Christians go these days in condemning the Church and calling everyone who is a part of it ignorant and hypocritical, I must call to mind the many thousands of Christians throughout the world who are truly following Christ and doing what He said. They do not take for granted the resources they have been given, but have willingly shared them with those in need. Many have abandoned a comfortable life to live among those in poverty and to give aid wherever they can. To say that all Christians need a reality check is a huge ignorance in and of itself, and I would challenge anyone who bashes Christians to pause and research the many stories that do not make the national news headlines. How often we glory in bad news, and how rare it is for an enriching story to be told! I have known many people who have been aware of their smallness, yet have chosen to care for the widow and the orphan’s needs above their own anyway. The result has been incredible because it is not their efforts that have brought about change, but rather the love of Christ that flows through them that gives hope to those living in despair. Much of the change that has happened has occurred at great cost to the giver. Many have sacrificed their lives. Not every Christian is a hypocrite, and I pray every day that I would be as genuine as they come. May I never misrepresent my Lord.
It is true that many people in the Church have a long way to go in their understanding of what it means to be Christ followers. We forget sometimes that we have just as much need for grace as those we tend to judge. We fight for things that we aren’t willing to back up with our lives, and we say a lot of things that we aren’t willing to sacrifice for. However this does not define all Christians by any stretch of the imagination, and I hope that through my life I can be faithful to live out the things that I profess with my mouth. I am as far from the Center of the Universe as I can get, but I serve the one who is the Center of the Universe. May I always hold true to this perspective.