Monday, July 28, 2008

Would You Love Her?

Yesterday my husband told me a true story of a girl...

She came to church very dirty and disheveled. She was barefoot. And to top it off--she brought two rats on her shoulders.

Yes, I said TWO RATS.

(Now just what is going through your mind right now?)

She continued to come and eventually she got cleaned up and would just bring one rat instead of both. And then one day she confronted the pastor.

She told him she came to church and made herself dirty on purpose. She wanted to see if anyone would accept her. She wanted to see how the church would act towards her. Would they really welcome her or would they look down on her. Would they just look on the outside? Would they love her?

The pastor broke into tears and was so thankful that the people in his church reached out to her because this gal ended up getting saved.

Now I want you to go with me for a minute to two places.

1. How would you have reacted as this woman walked into your very own church? Would you have looked down on her because she wasn't wearing the acceptable 'Christian' attire? Would you have loved her? Could you have truly welcomed her into your circle (friends, Bible study, home)?

2. You ARE that woman. That is how we came to Christ and how our sin was to Him. We were dirty and barefoot and He cleaned us. We carried the 'rats' of sin on our very own shoulders and He forgave us of them. We are no different. We need Christ just as much as this girl did.

Remember, Jesus HATED religion. He hated conformity on the outside and called the Pharisee's white-washed tombs. He called them broods of vipers and sons of hell. He accused them of keeping people from God. I wonder how much we do this and don't even realize it. We put up barriers that prevented people from coming to God.

We cannot put up barriers that keep people from knowing the love of God through us. Sometimes we do this is unwittingly, honestly thinking we are doing right by God. But we actually hinder people---not just the unsaved but even Christians around us. They feel that Christianity is a 'religion of works' and become discouraged and fall away.

I don't know about you, but I think we absolutely need to repent of this repulsive, 'pseudo-Christianity'. Jesus didn't die so we could all look perfect and live perfect lives. He didn't die so we could hang with our Christian friends and turn down our noses on the lost. There is a whole world dying out there and we need to be fishers of men.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18-9


  1. This has been weighing on my heart the last few days, and here you have this awesome post about it. It's hard not to judge people sometimes. We can never know the intentions of their heart. People struggle with filling the void in their life with things of the world. This reminds me that we are to have the love of Jesus and His compassion on others. After all, He has given me undeserved compassion so many times. Blessings.

  2. Very thought-provoking, June. Thank you. We attend an inner-city church plant currently and we have several young attendees like the woman you described--only minus the rats! And we also have a homeless man who attends regularly. I am so thankful that they feel the love and grace of Christ at our church and that they feel comfortable returning each week. It is a blessing to have a community that loves the "outcasts" as Jesus did...well, not quite that much, but you know :)

  3. AMEN SISTER, I was just talking about this very thing to those in my congregation, and how we must be careful not to cast judgment on the very least of these, because you never know who will be watching you and seeing if you are truly loving one another as Christ loved for us.


  4. Thanks for this post. I agree it seems there is quite a holier than thou attitude sometimes. That is the very reason my own mother would not attend church the whole time I grew up. She called the people at the churches she knew hypocrites.

  5. great post!

    In our church, we haven't got many christians who were 'born in church'.. most of us people come straight off the streets..

    In our fellowship we have pastors that were drug dealers, street fighters, junkies, anything..... and they're pastors now!

    So that said, most of us will still remember 'the old days' and where they came from themselves.. so fortunately we haven't really got this problem of looking down on new people..

    Just the other day, a boy came in who obviously had been on the streets for a while.. long hair, all kinds of piercings and a Bob Marley t-shirt.. I went up to him, smiled and said: "hey, that's uncle Bob!" and he was just SO happy to hear that.. because he'd been to other churches and people were ehmm.. 'less friendly' towards his choice of music and dress - so hopefully we'll see him again soon....

    Greetings from the netherlands!

  6. What a wonderful post and reminder of how we need to be careful not to judge people by there how they look. I have seen and do see this happening a lot. It a good reminder to myself to make sure I am not one of them. I think another area we have to be careful with is judging peoples actions or things they do. Many people judge people and get a holier then thou attitude because they say I don't do this or that. Then people separate themselves instead of challenging or encouraging someone in the Word. There is a place for separation, but we have to be careful that we use it in the right way. Hope this makes sense. I have enjoyed your blog for sometime now. Thanks for all the encouragement and challenges.


  7. I feel compelled to add the one thing that is left out of that verse:

    he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted

    So many brokenhearted people. Big big Savior.

  8. Yes, a very loud, heartfelt Yes! I would love see I once was that woman. I was judged by my appearance and my ethic background, so yes, I would love her...because He has taught me to love others...


  9. Yes I could love her today I can't honestly say I could havve said Yes always. Today I know and understand I am her and parts of me are still her but glory to God He is transforming me. I am currently doing donna Partow's becoming a vessel God can use and she point out as we know not only does God look at the heart but we don't know what work He has done in a person just to get them to the point we encounter them.
    We are all God's vessels and He is molding us all for His use and glory.

  10. A very thought-provoking and challenging post that speaks volumes for the love of Christ that has been shed abroad in our hearts.

    May I not ever be guilty of judging the outside but always remember that God looks on the heart and so should I.

    May I never be in the way of someone knowing and feeling the Lord's wondrous love and acceptance in their lives, as He heals their sinful hearts and covers them, as He has covered me, by His own precious blood!


  11. Dear Linda,

    Yes, we also knew a Pastor who did drugs before he was saved. Your church sounds great---I hope that many get saved! And I'll be praying for that guy with the Bob Marley shirt (I remember listening to him too)--it's great you were able to reach out to him--hopefully he will return!

    Many blessings...

  12. such a wonderful post. i've enjoyed reading your blog for some time now and love the wonderful inspiration and wisdom about homemaking. Have you read the book "UnChristian"? I am currently reading it and this post ties in so well. I'd encourage you to check it out if you haven't already!

  13. Dear Casmommy,

    No, but this book was brought to my attention just a few weeks earlier, a pastor we know is reading it and my husband and I were talking about it the other day. Hopefully I will get a chance to look at it soon. Thanks for the heads up and for visiting.

    Many blessings...

  14. Excellent post! I couldn't have put my thoughts on this matter better myself. As a feminist looking to learn more about Christianity and what it means I feel very, very, very much like that dirty woman. I know next to nothing about the Bible and in trying to learn more, often all I get is a shocked response of, "You NEVER read the Bible?!" And then rather than helping me (if you have no idea how to interpret it, reading the Bible on your own is one major task to tackle) they start judging me. Still exploring though. Thanks for sharing this story!

  15. Dear Vera Prince,

    Thanks for visiting! I left a nice, long comment on your blog.

    Be sure to visit again!

    Many blessings...

  16. It's interesting when you say that "Jesus HATED religion" because just this morning I read a completely different view point from Voddie Baucham on his blog "Truth in Love."


  17. Sarah-Mae,

    Let me clarify what I mean---'the religion of the Pharisees' is what I am getting at. Hope there isn't any confusion on this point.

    Many blessings...


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