The saying goes “They will know we are Christians by our love” but where is it in the modern day church? When speaking with those disillusioned with the church they all have similar things such as “the church is full of hypocrites” or the “Christians are some of the meanest people I know.” As someone who has been in church most of my life, I can agree with all of these statements. It seems as if there are two extremes in Christianity: either the super mean and righteous churched saints or the ones who seem so nice that it’s fake. There are issues with both, but I believe that most of us are trying to meet somewhere in the middle. When talking to those who don’t believe, some have a problem with the teachings of the Bible but their main concern are with Christians. Even Gandhi was quoted as saying, “I love your Christ but not you Christians, you Christians are so unlike your Christ.” There seems to be a problem: Christians are lacking grace.
During my reading in the Bible, I stumbled across Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (ESV).” That gracious speech is something that is missing and its absence is sorely felt. I believe that this also applies to social media or any sort of medium where words are exchanged. We are so quick to cut each other down under the guise of “rebuking with love,” but we aren’t fooling anyone. Our harsh terms can make us leave church…what do we think that will do to the new believers or those who are on the fence? How can we show grace in this world that is growing increasingly cold by the hour?
We need to really listen when someone is expressing themselves and respond with an answer that reflects some thought and tact. I’ve heard that grace is when you get what you didn’t deserve, and perhaps we should apply this definition to our day to day lives. If someone does or says something you don’t agree with don’t respond in the tone or with words you think they deserve. Instead, hit them with that soft answer that turns away wrath. The Bible speaks of us having to give an account of every idle word we uttered, and that should really scare us. How many times have we been harsh with people for no justifiable reason? The same grace God shows us daily is what we need to extend to others. It’s hard but it’s worth it because our actions toward people are also a reflection of our relationship with God. Let’s treat His creation with the respect and honor they deserve.0