Updated: Aug 31
In my life, people have taken my words out of context or misunderstood what I have said to paint a picture of me to themselves and/or others that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When this is done by people I love and genuinely want to understand and know me, this deeply saddens me.
Every single person on this planet is a child of God. He wants everyone to know His love and understand His heart.
Recently, I’ve scrolled through my Facebook and been accosted by posts from Christians that just exhaust and depress me. It is so defeating for me to see how so many people relate to God and portray Him to others in a misconceived way.
He is viewed as some type of conditional judge on a throne just waiting for someone to slip up and say “f*ck” or "mess up” in some other way, so he can look down disapprovingly and let us know that we are not enough for Him or His kingdom. This leaves people constantly feeling the need to get right with Him and earn their salvation.
***At this point while writing this, I literally put my computer down and was so discouraged and heavy by this I stopped writing.
I thought: I don’t even know how to begin to broach the mass confusion in the church sometimes. This mindset of legalism in a huge majority of the churches out there today is the biggest tool the devil uses to deceive people and keep them from knowing the heart of God.
This mindset not only prevents Christians themselves from understanding the unconditional love of the Father, but it keeps them from accurately sharing the truth of the good news with others.
It muddies the beauty and simplicity of the gospel and finished work of Jesus Christ with false representation which is preventing and hindering other people from even being open to the love of Jesus.
The devil wants this message stifled and hidden, and he often uses the church and Christians to do exactly that.
I told God: “If you want me to finish writing what I started writing, it’s going to have to come from you because I feel too burdened to find clarity.”
I opened my Bible to Galatians and read exactly what I needed to convey.
I rolled my eyes at God and was like, “Alright, I guess You want me to write this one, so here we go.” ***
I’d like to start by saying, if someone is using a scripture to try to convince you of something, read the ENTIRE chapter or better yet the entire book of the Bible to fully grasp what was actually being said. Understand who was talking to who and why. This goes for anything I write as well. Don’t just take my word for it, dig into scripture, or best yet, take time to meditate and listen to God.
In 2 Corinthians 2:3 and several other places, the Bible tells us that the word of God is now written on our hearts. In Romans 8:9 and several other places, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God now lives in us.
Sadly, so many Christians believe the lie from the devil that our hearts are wicked and can’t be trusted. The Bible also tells us that we are made in the image of God. I wonder how God feels about His people saying such horrible and belittling things about His creation that was made in HIS likeness.
If my son were to say, “I am wicked and bad. I can’t do anything right on my own. I am a filthy disgusting rag, and the only good in me is my mom. That is why I obsessively try to follow and copy her.” I wouldn’t be happy about this at all.
I would be disturbed, concerned for his mental health, and do everything in my power to try to help him understand the goodness living in and through him. Honestly, any other response is abuse.
So many Christians have been living under an abusive mindset that comes straight from the devil.
God wants His children to heal and learn how to love themselves.
You can't truly love others until you love yourself. Group think Christianity promotes self hatred. Despite Christians' claims of being "loving," many do not feel loved or accepted for themselves by Christians as a whole. The mindset is, "think and behave like us, or you don't fit into the club." It's clickyness at its finest.
God created each and every one of us and knows the number of hairs on everyone's heads. Do you really think he'd be leaving people out because they are different or think differently? Do we really believe that God plays favorites?
It's not surprising to me in the slightest that people don't want anything to do with God or church due to this misrepresentation. Frankly, in many cases, I think it's actually a good thing that people don't go to church. I believe that God would rather people not come to His house than have people come and be falsely represented there.
The Bible says not to forsake the fellowship, but as I mentioned in my last blog, if people aren't showing up as their authentic selves is it even fellowshipping? It's like being in a movie set where everyone puts on their best Christian act in order to fit in. This isn't fellowshipping. It's acting.
1st John 4:16 tells us that, God is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
If it’s not love, it is not God.
“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit are you now being made perfect by the flesh” (Galatians 3:1-3)?
Galatians 3 goes on to tell us that people who are living according to their good works are cursed and that the law is not of faith. I was struck by the strong language Paul used with, “cursed.” He’s not mincing words.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Why do we as Christians keep putting ourselves back under this curse instead of walking in faith?! It’s like people don’t actually believe that God is good, so they keep striving to earn his favor through good works.
Let me reiterate what we just read in Galatians: TRYING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH AND EARNING GOD’S FAVOR IS A CURSE!
Let’s stop chasing our tails trying to be good enough for God. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1).
Christians are putting the cart before the horse. It isn’t God’s heart for good behavior to come from fear of His wrath. We change on a heart level when we truly understand His mercy and grace. It becomes a “want to” rather than a “have to.” It’s not about earning God’s love and favor. We already have that no matter what. No matter how many times we screw up, He views us as His precious and beloved children.
When we accept and understand His love, and we learn to love ourselves the way that He loves us, we want to change. His guidelines aren’t there to condemn us. They are there to HELP us live an easier life and to experience His peace that passes understanding.
Just after we made the decision for me to become a SAHM, Erik was faced with the decision of go against your beliefs or lose your job. We chose to stand for m*dical freedom and our beliefs.
Erik was calm as a cucumber the entire time. He was so confident that God would provide for our needs. It did not steal a minute of his joy.
I, on the other hand, was a wreck. My anxiety was through the roof. I lost sleep. I was afraid. I stressed about every single detail.
One day, driving in the car, God spoke to me about my faith. It was then that I went on my journey to strengthen my faith to have faith like my husband and faith filled role models like Jim and Janice Vandenhouten.
When you tap into oneness with the Holy Spirit, you know. Galatians 5:22-23 spells it out. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
My lack of faith, didn’t affect my salvation or God’s view of me, but it did dramatically affect my quality of life. God wasn’t sitting there judging or condemning me. He felt compassion towards me, His beloved daughter.
He wanted to help me experience his peace and joy, so I didn’t have to suffer the way I was suffering. It’s His goodness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). When I “repented” or changed my mind about how I was living, it was because of God’s love that wouldn’t let go of me.
His goodness was running after me.
His goodness is running after you too. (Goodness of God, Bethel Music)
Be free friends.