FYI: This article is the first of a series that will explore an interesting conversation between one of my favorite twitter followers, Brandy Milton and I concerning her experience of developing a relationship with God and the church.
As a follower of Christ, I’m in love with God. Yes, you heard me, I’m in love with God. He is the best thing that happened to my life. I have no idea what my life would be like without Him. We’ve been going strong for fourteen years and we have eons to go. As much as I love God, I didn’t get acquainted with him until I was a teenager. I didn’t grow up going to church on a regular basis. My family occasionally attended church on Easter and Christmas. Yes, we were that family. The one that only attended on holidays. I didn’t have a choice as to when I would go to church because I was just a kid. I learned about God more from the Christian children’s books my great-grandmother would read to me. Considering my own journey of finding God, I am always intrigued to hear how other believers have come to know Christ.
I was socializing on our Twitter account and began a conversation with one of our followers, Brandy Milton. Our love for God became the glue that had our fingers stuck to the keyboard tweeting away at each other. We tweeted about a variety of things, but what caught my attention was when she shared that through her husband she was led to Christ. I know you maybe saying, “Sequoia people are led every day to Christ through a spouse, so what’s special about this situation?” Hold on! I am working on making my point. I will get to how meeting her husband opened the door for Brandy to open her heart to God and the church in a later article, but first, let me give you some background on Brandy’s introduction to God. Just like me, Brandy wasn’t raised in the church. Brandy’s parents were forced to go to church when they were children and didn’t want to force that on Brandy and her brother. However, Brandy often wonders what their lives would have been like if they went to church.
Even though Brandy didn’t go to church, it doesn’t mean she didn’t hear about God. Her parents and friends would speak to her about God all the time. Unfortunately, they depicted Him as some bully who would strike Brandy down if she didn’t abide by the rules and only loved her if she attended church on Sundays. What rules would she have to follow? I’m not sure. And what is He going to use to strike us down? The idea that God only loved us if we go to church is a thought I couldn’t wrap my mind around. He loves us whether we go to church or not. However, people are presented with this legalistic God who is way up in the sky looking down on us with pity, and only loves those who are spending every minute of their lives in church. I’m not saying going to church isn’t important, but don’t crucify people who don’t attend. There are many reasons why a person may not attend.
The truth is that God is a loving Father who wants the best for His children. Click To Tweet As any parent would, He has guidelines to help us navigate through life and to protect us from unnecessary trouble and harm. God is certainly not a bully looking to make our lives a living hell, but He sent His son, Jesus to give us an abundant life. I wonder how many people think God is a bully? Why do people use scare tactics when presenting God to others? God isn't about doom and gloom. Click To TweetWhy not just share His genuine love with people?
I must admit that I too was introduced to a “God” that I should “fear” more so than the One I should fall in love with because He is in love with me. I wonder if people would be more open to hearing about God if they were presented with His love instead of fear. Yes, fear is exactly what we are serving people when we present God as a bully. As we know, God isn’t about fear at all. Fear never attracted anything, it only repels. This conversation gave me a lot to think about and I also examined the way I share God with others too. I don’t ever want to share a “God” that people should be afraid of, but one who loves them unconditionally no matter what they have done or will do. God loves us all so much and He desires for us to demonstrate His love when we encounter others so they may know the truth of who He is.
So, what are your thoughts on this matter? I would love to hear from you! Make sure you leave a comment in the comment box below.
Some questions to consider:
- How do you view God?
- How are you presenting Him to others?
- Why are scare tactics used when sharing God with others?
- Do you believe that God loves the person who goes to church more than the person who doesn’t go?
- In what manner was God shared with you?
Inspired by: Brandy Milton
Photo Credit: by Chesi – Fotos CC (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pimkie_fotos ) Licensed under Creative Commons