People sometimes wonder why I’m so passionate about social justice issues. Why do I partner with organizations like Feed the Hunger, the Global Orphan Project, Living Water International, and the Not For Sale Campaign?
I hear a lot of things, man. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve heard people say, “Oh, you’re a Christian. That’s means you’re a gay-basher. Or you’re judgmental. Or you’re a hypocrite.”
You know, you get tired of hearing those things. But you also realize those judgments had to come from somewhere. So where did they come from? Maybe those are the characteristics Christians are giving off at times. I doubt we do it on purpose. I think we’re trying to understand God. We care so much about getting people saved and in our church. We don’t want to lose them. So sometimes we allow religion to get in the way of relationship.
As I got more and more intimate with Jesus, I said, “God, how do I love people the right way?” I know I’m here for more than just being a baseball player. And I’m here for more than just going to church on Sunday. And I’m here for more than just saying, “I’m a Christian.” So I asked Him point-blank, “What do you want from me? What are the things that you want me to key in on?”
And He showed me where He said that He came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). He showed me people that are in bondage. He showed me that He wants us to free them.
He showed me the slavery issue. He showed me the water crisis. He showed me the hunger crisis. He showed me the orphanages. God has a simple command that shows up over and over in the scripture. He says, “If anything, take care of the orphans and widows.”
He took me on that journey and said “I want you to do this.” I feel like He’s asked me to do these things.
We get so caught up in the rules. We try to tell people what to do and what not to do, and we try to show them where they are wrong. We forget to let God handle the relationship that He has with people. We forget that we need to make sure we’re actually reflecting Christ the correct way. If I’m an ambassador of Christ, I want to make sure that I’m doing it the right way. I asked Him, and this is what He showed me.