I am currently reading a book called The Sinai Experiment, which I can best describe as a modern day interpretation of the Ten Commandments with challenges and avenues to force you to think differently or simply break your comfort zone. This week's commandment is "Don't Misuse My Name" One of the challenges is "to repent for misrepresenting God and hurting people in the process. Apologize to someone, even a complete stranger, for our inappropriate misuses of God's name."
I may be taking my own spin on the challenge, but what I would apologize for is hypocrisy of Christians, including myself. It is frustrating to see things in public like church billboards, facebook, and even the media, although much of that seems to have a bias. Regardless, of where it comes from,it is very saddening as a Christian to see what much of the world thinks of us. This reminds me of another book I have read with two small groups called They Like Jesus But Not the Church. Ouch, but spot on. I could sit here and ramble on about places I hear or observe my faith being slandered or misrepresented but am I not just as guilty? The only thing I can do is be bold enough to stand up for the Jesus I believe in and the Christianity I believe in. That pretty much terrifies me. Perhaps if I were presented with a chance to talk to someone it may be different, but it is the putting myself out into those situations that cause me to be vulnerable and change people's minds about my faith.
For now, I hope to just be more aware of how I and even my church represent the name of Christ and Christianity. I hope and pray to be bold when there is an opportunity and to make Jesus pleased with me. Afterall, I could have it far worse and truly be persecuted for my faith, even to the point of the death. I have so much freedom, but it seems the people that do not have any or that much more bold.
If you're reading this and disagree or even want to talk, I would truly be more than happy.