Acting With Christian Transparency
By Laura D. Field – Reflective Tapestry of Life
This morning I read a Facebook post of a Christian friend who will no longer support Target. Do what you will, as I really don’t care. But the reason is not just because they are now allowing transgenders to use whichever bathroom is most appropriate for them, but also because they do not sell “Christian” themed products. Seriously? Go to your local Christian Book store or purchase online for those items. Target is a retail establishment providing basic needs, not Christian values.
In sharing this, I would like to say to all those Christians who boycott due to your values, please take a look in the mirror. There is not one of us who is pure, perfect, and without sin. Purchasing a chocolate cross does not make you a better Christian. Veggie Tale videos can be purchased at your local Christian bookstore (go support them, as that is a Christian thing to do).
But more importantly: Being a Christian is NOT about the material things we own, or the mean-spirited posts we share in rejection of others values and political views, it is about the coat of amour we choose to wear each day. Allow your heart to be the beacon of your faith. Let the love you feel within, represent the Christ you have faith in. He didn’t share with us “He without sin cast the first stone” as a “nice story”; it was something He shared in order for each of us to look at our own hearts before casting shame on others.
I personally do not shop a lot, but when I do shop, I seek out quality products (they last longer saving our family money) and if possible bargains. If Target has my laundry detergent on sale at a price that makes me want to purchase two, I’m heading down there. If I wish to purchase a bible or Christian themed book, I will go to my local Bible Bookstore in order to support their business and what they stand for.
We do not have to agree with other people, their choices, their lifestyles, their fashion styles (which I sometimes find hilarious, but hey, they brought joy to my day) or their values. I don’t always understand, I might not even agree, but this crazy world we live in, could be made more tolerable if we would start acting like Christ, instead of being His spokesperson.
Represent your faith in Christ, in the manner in which He taught. Love others, not just those you go to church with. Care for others with unconditional compassion. Do not judge the faith of another just because they do not go to church. Give to those outside your church body.
Just because you say Merry Christmas, don’t expect the cashier or others to respond in kind. Don’t be forceful instead show grace. You really do not understand what might be behind their lack of response. It could be that they could get fired from their low paying job, which barely supports their needs, for saying Merry Christmas.
In reference to the bathrooms, and this need to stand up for your beliefs. Okay, bring a port-a-potty in your vehicle that you will need to park in the far corner of the parking lot (have fun on Black Friday). But, in all sincerity, do you really think your stand against allowing another human being to pee is loving and kind? It is not even humane! Get over yourself. God did not put us on this earth to be judgmental of others.
It is true; I do not understand the ways of this world. I do not understand other faiths, transgender, homosexuality, or why people enjoy spiking their hair and coloring it with multiple colors. But what I do know for a fact is that these individuals are just as human as I am, very loving, very kind, and above all, are loved just as much as you and I by our living God. They have values you don’t even see. Those that you do not understand are many times the same people who will be the first to help you out. They don’t ask first if you are a Christian, and even if they recognize you as one who hurt them in the past, will still do what they can to help you. You see, they might not believe the same way as you do, but they were designed with the same human heart of love, that has never been deformed by thoughts of self-righteousness.
Take a look in your bible (please, open your bible to make sure I am not making this up), in Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan:
- 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
- 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
- 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
- 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
- 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
- 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
- 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
- 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
- Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
You see, Jesus did not put us here to judge, He put us here to be Christian advocates for the love His presence was meant to teach. There are many more loving and caring Good Samaritans in our world than caring and loving Christians. I’m not saying that all Christians are not loving and kind, as I would like to think that I am, yet actions and words speak far more of what you believe within your heart. Wouldn’t you rather leave this world being known for the love you had for others and not your stand against those who do not believe the same way you do?
Be true to who you are, giving abundantly from your heart.
Laura – Blogger, paid Freelance writer