He Loved Us at Our Darkest

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about the “Dark world” we live in. I’ve given this phrase much thought. What makes today’s world darker than times before? Well, it’s not because people are sinning in ways we have never quite seen before. There’s no original way of sinning, it’s all been done before. Could the amount of people’s sins increased? No, that can’t be it. No matter how hard we try, we cannot simply quantify the sin of the world, it’s hidden in the depths of hearts; even in our own.

When we think about our own life, we often believe we’re doing pretty well. We’re healthy, we have jobs, and we have shelter. But as soon as someone is asked about their perception about the condition of the world, people will immediately say that it is headed to hell in a hand basket.

Why do we remove ourselves from the sickly condition of the world? In our eyes, our sin does not compare to the sin of this world. What we are doing is trying to hold the world to a standard we have created in our mind, a standard that may have originated from good intentions, but has spiraled completely out of control.

Our political stance becomes our platform rather than the platform of unending, unconditional grace. We are vessels of grace, the grace God gifted us with-and yet, we hoard it for ourselves and choose a path of pronouncing standards the world should follow.

At the core of this dark world, sin is deeply rooted. It festers until it manifests into some fallen human condition such as pride, lust, anger, or greed-to name a few. However, as soon as we diagnose the world to be more dark and more evil than at any other time in history, we no longer see the root of the problem as original sin, we begin to view some sins as worse than others.

God died on the cross to save us from this ugly, destructive condition. His cross removed all hierarchy, all judgment; everyone stands on the same level ground. Sinners in need of a Savior. But as always, we want to boost our ego and feel as if we’ve earned this free gift of grace, so we began to qualify our works and lifestyle as superior to others. We surpass them on the even playing field as we level up because we volunteer at the church regularly, our kids behave well (or we as adults behave fairly well), or we go on mission trips every summer- the list is never-ending. And one of the biggest pats on the back many Christians give themselves right now is the fact that many of us (not all) identify as conservatives. Too often, Christians have correlated Christianity with conservatism.

But let me tell you, the gospel is Jesus dying on the cross to save us from our depravity. He saved us from the sins we were drowning in; sins we did not deserve to be rescued from. But God saw our sickly condition and it broke his heart. He saved us and called us to be lights to this fallen, collapsing world; a world that has always been fallen. This place is not meant to be our home, but we are not to hide from its dangers. We are not called to build a Christian bubble for ourselves and hide from death, hurt, pain, and other sinners. We must be in the world, but we are called to stand out.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” -Matthew 5:14

     We may disagree with the decisions others make, or lifestyles they choose, but this does not mean we should completely remove ourselves from interactions with others. Too often we see political decisions we disagree with as an opportunity to show others we completely, whole-hardheartedly want nothing to do with it. So we shun. We believe that if we do not take a stand, voice it, and defend it until we are purple in the face, then we are just tolerating the world’s sins. This is not a matter of defying tolerance; this is setting others up for failure against our impossible requirements. This is no longer defending our faith; this is telling others who have no concept of Jesus Christ to do as we do.

If I wore my sins across my neck (pride, envy, gluttony and more), would you look down on me? If you walked into my store, would you take your business elsewhere because I’m just too much of a sinner for you to handle and you don’t agree with my lifestyle?

Do you hear the hypocrisy in this? We have chosen what issues to complete divide ourselves over instead of focusing on Christ and the mission he has called us to. He came to earth to do the will of His Father. He was not sidetracked once. He talked with broken people, face-to-face. He dived right into people’s messy lives; he was close up to prostitutes, tax collectors, the sick, the blind- all the people in this world that we do not value. The people we see as lowly and not worthy. But to God, they were worthy, valued, and beautiful. We all are worthy, valued, and unblemished in his eyes. Jesus entered the world and flipped it a full 180 degrees. His standards are not our standards. His ways our not our ways.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts your thoughts. ” – Isaiah 55:8-9

     Laws and politicians will not correct immorality. Give me one example when creating more laws or expanding the government has ever resolved the root issue of sin in the world. This is not to say we should completely ignore the role of government; rather, we are to respect its authority in our lives. However I am trying to say, we should not make politics, presidents and earthly laws bigger than they are. God’s rule and authority reigns overall and he will be our defender. Only He can ultimately bring justice. In the meantime, we are called to shine our lights, not to hide them. Share the gospel with everything you have. Because God gave everything, I mean absolutely everything, so we could share this gospel to others.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Melissa Carroll

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