"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:8-10)
I was driving to work this week enjoying the 30 minute drive that i have from home to work. It's a pleasant drive that allows me the opportunity to reflect on the coming day and just prep myself for what is to come. I usually will listen to the radio and just absorb the time. One morning as I was driving, I heard a story of a church in Florida that was staging a "Burn the Quran" Day. I was intrigued as to why a church would do something like this and so once i got into work, I jumped on the internet and did a little research. I was amazed at what I found but not about the church....
As i read the article, I discovered that the church was just trying to make some extreme point that obviously most people will miss. I don't think Muslims are going to turn to Jesus because of the book burning nor do I think people are going to come to a true relationship with Christ because of it. And while this "church" may think they are taking a stand for God, I think they have missed it. But it wasn't this story that upset me. It was the comments I found attached with the article.
Following the article, it was comment after comment from people talking about how pointless faith and religion are and how some of us are just buying into some "spaghetti flying monster in the sky." My heart broke as I read quote after quote from these people that I have never met that said that Christians were just hypocrites and that there is nothing after this life so enjoy it while you can. How can someone live their life with no hope like that? It was sad...
But it was also a call for me to do a better job with my faith. It was a call for me to do a better job of how I live and the example that I set. It was a call for me to love more people and be Christ to more people. I don't know about you but sometimes I really just don't care about anyone else. I had the honor of sharing a lunch today with a new friend, Jake Smith. We spent time over sub sandwiches talking about how selfish we are and how we long for everyone to cater to us in life. But Christ called for sacrifice. As Jake shared his story of Africa and the journey that God took him on for two months, I found myself recognizing my faults and were I have fallen short in putting others first. Jake reminded me once again that we are so much better off than so many in the world and yet we take it for granted. But God didn't call us to stockpile our faith....he called us to use it.
So what family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and random strangers do you need to be sharing love with. Who needs to know the real message of hope and that there is more to us than this life here on earth and that God has something so much more in store for us? Maybe it's time I stop thinking about what i want and start think about what others need. I need to stop burning books and start burning with passion for those that need truth.
I hate it when i convict myself.