Be Jesus, not a Pharisee.
What would Jesus do? A phrase many know but one that few actually enact. With the anniversary of Roe V. Wade this past week and the controversial event at The Grammy’s , it seems like tensions rise up faster than you can say “God Bless You” these days. Arguments on social media, campus, and even the workplace can take a toll on our souls since it is stressful when we focus too much on “trying to win” or being able to “fight their points.” All of these topics have taken away from the actual truth of what being Christian means.
One of the students I mentor and I had the fortunate experience to spend 30 minutes with a girl who was protesting the pro-life messages that Baylor placed on campus this past week. While conversing with her, alongside a couple of other students who later showed up and joined us, she made the same points that I’m sure we have all heard in favor of abortion. As much as I gave her my points of view against it, the biggest question I had for her was “Why?” That simple question caused her to open up about her past and we got to know who she was a little better. As she kept trying to explain her opinion, a woman who was apparently Christian came up to us scolding her and saying her opinion was dumb, killing babies was wrong and she should know better than to do that on a Christian campus. This hurt my heart so much. And to make it worse, the girl didn’t even argue back, (she did mumble some cuss words under her breath) she just stayed seated on the grass in peaceful protest. The woman walked away so fast and left us in shock. I was Christian like her, and I even felt personally attacked.
We then proceeded to have a conversation about Christians, which caused me to break down into tears once I had to leave her. It made me realize, it isn’t about whether or not that girl’s opinion is wrong and the woman’s is right, it’s about the souls of all the parties involved. We’ve heard the arguments and yes, we have the absolute Truth in Christ, but if we act the same way this woman did, we aren’t going to communicate that truth effectively. How can that even be considered “Christ-like?”
If Jesus were to have spoken to that girl He would’ve looked into her eyes, loved her for who she was, empathized with her and not condemned her for her opinion. He would’ve embraced her soul and treated her with compassion. Then I realized, that’s exactly how we approached her. We went up to talk to her and really get to know her and why she thought it was ok, not to fight her and change her mind (although I still really wish I could have and I still pray for her).
This is my short point for today, as we encounter people who disagree with us and have misconstrued views on certain issues, we can’t force it upon them or make them feel scorned. That’s exactly why they have those views in the first place, because no one has actually shown them a caring approach. They feel like they have to fight their way to be heard and understood. Unfortunately many of them have had a bad encounter with a Christian and the Church so why not go and break those stereotypes that others have of Christians and actually show them who Jesus is. Show them His love, not your anger. Show them His patience, not your frustration. Love them for their souls, not their actions. Let’s give them an opportunity to say “One time I did meet a nice Catholic” and hopefully they’ll remember that encounter for the rest of their life. Spread the Gospel, it never comes back empty-handed.