Freedom.

“‘Cos now I’m free, I’m free at last
Free to live the life I want forget about my past…”

I remember singing that song as a teenager. A real song of celebration about the freedom we have in Jesus. It’s so true! I’ve learnt that we all experience those freedoms differently. I think though everyone agrees that it’s as if a huge weight gets lifted off of our shoulders, and it’s as if God says, “it’s ok! Your mine now, go just be you!”

The problem isn’t the message. The message is good. It’s filled with love and hope for everybody! The problem comes when we as humans put limitations on it. When somehow we don’t fit the mould and somehow being free actually begins to feel like more chains being added. We cannot begin to even start speaking to others about freedom in Christ, if our own judgement of people clouds our words.

We are told to be the light and salt of the earth. To do that we need to get down and dirty. All too often we are too ignorant of the struggles of others when preaching our messages. Ignorance is an opportunity for us to learn. We can never learn enough.

When we come from a place of nothing but love and compassion, when we seek to understand the ones we serve and when we truly appreciate the uniqueness and diversity that is humanity, then we can truly start to tell people a true message of freedom.

Some of my greatest conversations about Jesus I’ve had with people, is when I’ve been honest and say we are human. If I start a conversation admitting we get it wrong and acknowledging the hurt that can cause, people open up. There are so many walking wounded, and we have to be brave, admit we get it wrong and strive for change.

Words are rarely enough. We have to not only acknowledge the walking wounded both within the church, those that have left and those who have never come to Christ in the first place because of the wrong message. But seek to understand and strive for change with passion, so we can truly be the light of Jesus.

Let’s bring Christianity back to authenticity. Open, honest and with out human limitation. That’s true freedom.

The ripple effect.

Have you ever thrown a stone into a huge lake Just to see how far it will go? As a kid I remember doing this kind of thing all the time.
I’d throw as hard as I could, but my goal was never to hit the other side. Always I aimed for the middle.
More times than not I missed. Sometimes pathetically so. But the after effect was always the same.
There was always the initial very satisfying splash, and then afterwards the water would ripple out from the point the stone landed and fill a large portion of the lake in rings of water, traveling further and further out, before it was once more still.
Sometimes, when others threw too, the results were more spectacular. The rings of water colliding to make patterns all across the lake.

I like to think that we all make ripples too, but sometimes we just don’t see them.
Every positive or negative thing we ever do, ripples out and we probably rarely see the full consequences.
So when we act, we have to think.

When Jesus came down, he didn’t create ripples he created an eternal tidal wave. Beautiful and unending.
Compared to that, we will always be the equivalent of pebbles a lake making tiny splashes!
But Jesus used his tidal wave to bring more and more people to him, spreading further and further so that every body could come to know Jesus is Lord. So everybody could feel the beauty of his love.

What are we using our pebbles for? Are we making a positive difference to people’s lives?
When I said earlier about the rings of water colliding as more people threw the pebbles in, our lake is the exact same one Jesus threw his into. Our pebbles will collide with his wave.
If we want people to know Jesus, we have to be careful that the stones we throw, even in good faith, aren’t ones that aren’t going ultimately stop people coming to Jesus.

Also think too, every stone, every wave and ripple we create for the glory of God, when it collides with Jesus’ tidal wave, that becomes eternal too. No matter how small the stone, all our voices have value!

I think some of the stones I throw in can be quite controversial to some. I don’t really mind that.
If I worried about every stone I ever threw in being the same as the people around me, I’d probably end up hiding.
When that’s you worry about, the focus isn’t on God, it’s on you. The ripples your creating aren’t ones that are aiding the glory of God.
I’d rather always be controversial, and feel there’s a chance I could have made an actual difference because of it, than create a ripple because it was one I was expected to make.

Keep adding to the waves of eternity. God is good!