February 9

Written by Bill Grandi on February 9th, 2021

I’d like to start out this devotion by asking you a question. Is that okay? Now, the important part of this is that you must answer honestly. You game? Okay…here it is:

Have you ever tried to fit someone into your mold of what a “real” Christian looks like? I know. I know. That sounds like a question I’d ask that would lead to a discussion on legalism. But please don’t head to that way of thinking. I want to take you in another direction.

I’m afraid many of us find ourselves in a “Christian” bubble. Everything is Christian. Christian gym. Christian church league. Christian TV (gag). Christian music. Christian. Christian. Christian. We even have Christian mints. I’m guessing to help our breath smell better around other Christians?

The Bible tells us not to be conformed to this world but be transformed.” So to make sure we don’t conform we withdraw. As I see it there are three ways to respond: 1) we completely adapt and get sucked into and are engulfed by the culture; 2) we completely withdraw thereby losing all hope of influencing anyone; or 3) we practice godly discernment.

The tragedy which arises is we often want to reach others but get so scared that we begin to want people who are “safe.” We are much more comfortable with people who are more like us. That is why I asked the question I did at the beginning. When people fit a mold our comfort level elevates.

But keep this in mind. Our goal is not to change anyone.  Our goal is not to get them to conform to our idea of the ideal Christian. Our goal is to love them; it is Jesus’ responsibility to change them. We are called to love; Jesus is to change.

People want to be loved. They don’t want to be a project. They want to be accepted; they don’t want to be seen as a home improvement project.

Frankly, I don’t like or want to be shoved into someone’s mold. Why would I try or expect them to?

“Father, You have asked me to take Your message of Good News. You have not asked me to try to change anyone. That is Your job. Help to love people where they are and leave the rest up to You.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    I think it boils down to expectations and more importantly, my understanding of who Christ is and what He has tasked me to do. He has not tasked me to judge or to belittle. He has tasked me to love, but also strive to live to a perfected standard. I think the perception of Christians (and in some circles, rightfully so) is that we hate those who do not agree with us. I think our conversations and our actions can often portray that.
    I think in many ways the “approved lifestyle” fit in line with the Christian lifestyle for so many years (at least on the surface) that now that the idea of a “socially approved lifestyle” is changing from the worldly perspective, it causes Christians to fear that we are losing control of something we never had control of to begin with.

    All that said, I think we can keep it pretty simple, love all people, as you said, love them with all our heart… but don’t compromise when it comes to how we live our lives… The boundaries God has provided are pretty clear and crossing them will only lead to turmoil.

    Long response, but I retyped it 3 times before finely just letting go.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I appreciated your long response Ryan. It showed you have given some thought to this very issue. I do agree with you that we seem to fighting this loss of control which, in truth, we never had anyway. I choose to love without compromise. And I thank God for the boundaries.

  2. Exactly Bill! All we can do, and are supposed to do, is love others as we love ourselves. It’s up to Jesus to do the rest of the heavy lifting. 🙂

  3. Ed says:

    I made the mistake of judging someone (online) on their looks. What caused the judgement? It was their question: “Why don’t people like me?” or something along those lines. I kinda leaned into the guy a bit harsh and said he looked like a sideshow freak.
    Piercings and tatoos…
    The guy was NOT a Christian!
    Yep.. bad judgment AND a bad witness!
    It led to a confrontation with his friend, who said he’d “take care of me”.. I gave him my home address and told him to come over!
    After that the Lord really leaned on ME… told me that looks ARE NOT important to Him..
    Then slowly I started seeing Christians with not only tattoos.. but body piercings also.
    I said “Ok Lord… You love them.. so that’s all that I need to know.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Quick and harsh judgements are easy to make, especially when we are uncomfortable or have preconceived ideas of what a person is “supposed to” look like. I’m glad God showed you the errors of your way of thinking and I hope you apologized.