It’s hard to hear these words from a friend, but I want to listen.
“Suzie, I just can’t call myself Christian anymore. I look around and what I see isn’t what I signed up for.”
I listen as she spills what led her to this place. One person says this and another says that on social media, in person, in her extended family. Fingers are pointed. Heated words and debates. It’s loud and chaotic.
Is this faith? Is this Christianity? I don’t even know what I believe anymore.
If, like my friend, you’ve been asking these same questions, you aren’t alone. I want you to hear that. But can I tell you something, the same thing I shared with my beautiful friend?
I don’t mean that to silence you. In fact, I long to hear you. I’ve had the same struggle, lots of us have. But that struggle led me to sort through what was humanity and what was Jesus. As I leaned into my relationship with Jesus, I rediscovered why I loved him in the first place.
His words stand.
His example of love and community and sacrifice and servant-hearted actions stand.
That moment when we first encountered him, it stands.
Those times we felt his presence, those weren’t fake. They were real and they changed us. That stands too.
The fact that Jesus heard the cries of a blind man and leaned in to touch the lepers rather than turn away, that stands. The moment he climbed on a cross with the world on his heart, that stands.
It is noisy. It is true that some are reflecting faith in all the wrong ways (regardless of which side of the fence they are on). It’s true that some have mishandled the Gospel, and mishandled people too. That’s not okay. It’s never okay.
But it’s not Jesus. . . and it’s important that we make that distinction.
When we have those questions, they are valid. Don’t push them down. Talk to Jesus about them. Don’t hold back. Let it all spill, like my friend did. With a godly friend whose life reflects Jesus. With a godly counselor. With Jesus, always with Jesus. There’s healing in all of these things.
I wish I could fix the world. I wish we all remembered the power of unity. I wish we’d talk about the hard stuff, but with a heart to resolve, eyes to see the person standing in front of us, and how God uses all of us so completely even as we wrestle through what we believe, or don’t.
But the only person I can really change is me.
I can remember who Jesus is. I can remember what happens as we shut it all down for a bit and get alone with him, and how much I really need that. I can remember that my heart desperately needs more of Jesus than social media or the news.
I can be passionate about those things like justice and be strong in those, but also see the people, really see them before I try to put them in one column or another. I can apologize when I fall short. I can understand how fallible we all are, how much we need Jesus, and then show a world what that looks like.
Jesus stands. . .
I’ve got those words ringing in my heart. I’m reaching for them. I’m stepping into them. I want to live them in such a way that others want that too.
Honestly, that was my friend’s heartbeat too. She just got blindsided by all the noise and had valid questions that she needed to unpack.
If you are discouraged, don’t walk away, sis. Run toward him . . . because Jesus stands and always will.
I’ll be running with you,
You may think you are the only one struggling with this or something else, but I want you to know that you are not alone. If you are struggling, just wave your hand in the comments and I’ll pray with you. I love hearing from you.
- One resource to help rediscover Jesus is Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads. You can download a chapter here absolutely free. I hope it encourages you like crazy.