Casting Crowns has a song titled “Jesus Friend of Sinners”. I thought it was just another contemporary Christian song with a catchy little tune. But then I really listened to the words and it struck a cord with me.
The chorus and bridge are the words that really hit me hardest. Listen to the whole song when you have time but I want to focus on the words from the chorus and the bridge below:
Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did
How many times have we pointed our fingers and judged people? How many times do we picket against something instead of STAND UP FOR something? In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I started thinking about how I have had experiences over the last several years that have really caused me to “put down my sign and cross over the line”. I didn’t think I was judgmental but as I grow in my faith and look back over my life, I’m sure I was judgmental. I think we all are at times, but we have to remember to act like Jesus acted. He ate with crooked tax collectors. He touched lepers. He forgave a prostitute.
We are ALL one bad decision away from being in the same position as those to whom we tend to judge. It’s a fact – all people make bad decisions. But we have to love them just as we hope others will love us and continue to pray for them just as we hope others will pray for us. Never will any of us be perfect but we have got to strive everyday to live like Jesus. He loved everyone. He didn’t agree with their sin, but by associating with them He showed them love and mercy and was a good example for others to follow. He wanted them to repent of their sin so they could live in heaven with Him.
That’s what we have to do as Christians – show people love and mercy. We do not have to agree with their sin. We need to help them understand the need for a relationship with Christ so that they too can repent and spend eternity in heaven.
The chorus of the song said “nobody knows what we’re for – only what we’re against when we judge the wounded.” We have to stop judging and start showing people what WE ARE FOR and that is love, mercy, forgiveness and eternity in heaven. So let’s put down our picket signs, cross over the line and love like Jesus did……..today………..right now…….together we can do it!