Today’s guest post comes from Troy McLaughlin. I have gotten to know him on twitter, and the comments on this blog. We even had a good phone conversation this morning. All in all, Troy is a guy with a heart for encouragement. He shared his response to my recent posts about depression. I love how practical he makes this. At the end, we are left withe the choice: are we going to choose grace?
As I read Aaron’s post “When its not enough” and Chad’s guest post “Church grow up”, I was saddened. Saddened that the very place of comfort and refuge is a place of misunderstanding and shame. All I could ask is why? Why is the very place where the hurting should go for help is no help at all? Why do we do this as a church? When Christ said the world would know us (the church) for the love we show one another? How does this work? Who’s fault is it? It’s mine. No one else’s but mine. You can certainly include yourself here. If I’m not going to be part of the solution then I am the problem.
How do I, how do we as the church show true love one to another? Here’s some sobering facts. Read them these aren’t statistics they are people. Real people who suffer. Real people in pain. Real people in our church. Real people in our world. Real people dying every day.
- Nearly 26.2 percent of people (1 in four over the age of 18) suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in a year.
- When applied to the 2004 census, that comes to 57.7 million people.
- Six percent suffer from serious mental illness: 1 in 17
- More than 90 percent of suicides are those who suffer from a mental illness
Are these people worthy of the gospel are they worthy of Christ’s love? Of course they are. He died for EVERYONE. Then they have to be worthy of my love. No excuses. No complaints. Just love. Period.
Lets do something about it. Remember Christ didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it. Stop condemning others. Stop turning the hurting away. Stop giving grace lite. There is no such thing. It’s grace or no grace. The gospel is not a board that we beat the world with. It’s the good news that can set people free. It’s to set everyone free. Period. No exceptions. Not one. Remember John 3:16 “For God so loved the WORLD,” that’s everyone, “that have gave His son”… But we forget the verse that follows this. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17
Here are some practical steps:
- Get to know others, I mean really know them.
- Have a meal with a neighbor. People like to eat just ask.
- Welcome someone new in church. Say “hi” shake their hands. Learn their names. Learn their spouses names. Learn their kids names.
- Volunteer at a clinic that helps others. Hospitals, food kitchens, homeless shelters, aid clinics, even church. When we get to know others, truly know them our compassion for them grows.
Can you show true love to others?
Can you show true love to those who sit beside you in church even if you don’t understand them?
Can you get to know others?
I’m choosing grace and love because that is what Christ chose for me. I’m choosing to love others in the world and those who I sit beside each Sunday. I’m choosing to know others, yes really know them.