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Grace Abounds

It can be uncomfortable hanging out with Christians. I might feel like having a beer, but I don’t know if they’ll accept that. Sometimes I’m not even sure if my thoughts will be acceptable to them, much less my frustrations. I might literally say to myself, “Is it okay to have this thought, or to be frustrated in this area around these people?”

My non-Christian friends do not judge me. They don’t really care if I have a beer or not. They don’t judge me for my thoughts, or for my frustrations. If I’m feeling frustrated about something and I talk about it, they really don’t care. They just accept it. They’ll just tell me, “I know what you mean. I’ve been frustrated that way too.” Their attitude is, “Yeah. You’re normal. Just like everybody else.”

Now that I have this lesson of the copper pipe under my belt, I can sympathize with people in my life who are struggling with something. Finding Jesus or not finding Jesus, we’re all still copper pipes. So a guy can come to me in struggle and in pain, and he can confide in me without fear of judgment. He can say, “Hey Jeremy, I’m struggling with something right now, and I want to tell my wife, but I’m afraid because I feel like a bad person.” I really feel comfortable with this. I can say, “Yeah, I understand. I could probably go there too. And if I made the choices you made, I would be in the exact same spot.”

I don’t have to fear becoming like him in his sin. I have Jesus! I have access to that hot water. That’s always going to be in me. There’s always going to be more grace than sin. And if I live by the Spirit, then I will act by the Spirit. So I can also say to that guy, “Let’s figure out a way where we can help each other. I don’t want you to feel condemned around me. I want to love on you, man. I want to help you.”

I look at everybody, believers and non-believers, the same. We all sin. We all struggle. We all feel pain. I want to understand people’s pain. I want to understand their struggles. I want to be able to say, “You know what? I’ve been there, or I could easily go there.” And I want to help. How many more people would feel comfortable around followers of Jesus if they were treated that way?

The night before Jesus was arrested, He celebrated Passover with the apostles, and then He washed their feet, telling them,

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:13-15

Do not judge. Jesus is our judge, and yet He came as a servant king. When He knew His time with His beloved followers was ending, He did a job reserved for the lowest servant of the house. Why did He do it? He lowered himself to show humility. He told us, “I have given you an example. Do as I have done.” He showed us that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Whoever loses his life will find it! Happy Easter!

9 thoughts on “Grace Abounds

  1. So am I weird if I feel the opposite? I have long felt that my non-Christian friends judge me for my choices (like thinking I’m through-the-roof weird for staying abstinent until marriage, not drinking, being homeschooled, etc.) and it’s only around my Christian friends that I can really let my guard down and be me. When I’m with Christians, I don’t have to defend or explain my choices. I can just be myself! I can let them know how frustrated I am in my marriage, how I feel like a not-so-great mother sometimes, etc. But with my non-Christian buddies, I feel like when I say that to them, they judge me (“Hey, see, God doesn’t make a difference in your life, because you’ve got problems, too, so I may as well keep living my life.”). I mostly agree with you and love your blog, but how do you respond to this?

    • Crystal

      You are absolutely not weird. I am not trying to put all Christians in the same boat here. I have tons of friends who completely understand my failures and struggles. Most of the advice I receive and apply come from strong christian friends. These are the ones I lean on to pray for me and encourage me. I am merely trying to point out that Jesus was comfortable with crowds of “sinners” and they were comfortable with Him. He still had his core 12 along with many others he “camped” himself with. If we are to be the aroma of Christ, people have to want to be around long enough to smell it. Your non believing friends who judge you and think they don’t need Jesus because you struggle the same as they do need to see your joy in overcoming those struggles and know that the strength you have to overcome them is from Christ alone. You ability to live righteously comes from His blood shed. ( 2 Corinthians 5:21). We who know Christ are not the same in our spirit. We struggle in our flesh the same but we believe in the One who overcame the world and we live to reflect that.

  2. Something that has helped me recently is trying to see Jesus in everyone that you meet. If you approach each day with that mindset, and try to love everyone and see the good in them, it becomes much more difficult to judge them.

    Happy Easter Jeremy!

  3. I think if we are really walking in the Spirit, people are drawn to us. They want the real thing not something phony or hypocritical.
    And if the thoughts of the most precious, loving Christian was made known they would probably die a thousand deaths because of the embarrassment. I know I would! Let’s be real, right!? 🙂

    Jeremy, if you want a beer, or a glass of wine – it’s not a sin. What can be troublesome is the abuse of it or perhaps being a stumbling block to someone else. That’s my issue, for me personally – the position that I am in could create a stumbling block to others and I want to walk in love towards my brothers & sisters in Christ as well as be a witness to the world. You never know who is watching you. But it’s definitely my thing, I judge myself, no one else. It’s between the Lord and I. I am not legalistic, just want to be the real thing and love like Jesus loves.

    Happy Resurrection Sunday to you and your family!! God bless.

  4. Love the post since grace is such a beautiful thing. It’s also something that we followers of Jesus talk about alot, but have such a hard time living out.

    It’s unfortunate but sadly true that when secular people see us they feel like we’re judging them. As followers of Jesus we shouldn’t really expect to receive grace from the world, but we should be all about giving it.

    Blessings and Happy Easter

  5. As the great Bob Marley sang:

    “Don’t you look at me so smug
    And say I’m going bad.
    Who are you to judge me
    And the life that I live?
    I know that I’m not perfect
    And that I don’t claim to be.
    So before you point your fingers,
    Be sure your hands are clean.”

    Happy Easter.

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