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Stephen Sanders
Stephen Sanders

I have a confession to make: I used to have a Jesus-y personalized license plate on my car. I know, I know… and, not only that, but I also had a Christian t-shirt and more inspirational Facebook posts up my sleeve than a celebrity pastor.

Now, am I saying that there is something wrong with any of those things? I don’t know. But I do think we should be careful about assuming they are all OK. In my own life, I relied on those things to establish who I was in the world. I wanted to be known as a Christian, but at what expense? Was it actually causing non-Christians to distance themselves from me?

When it comes to the things that display our faith, our 1st “go-to” should never be impressive, well-thought out words or Christian gimmicks. The first tool in our toolbox should always be LOVE. And God’s love can simply not be displayed by anything we wear or say. It takes effort. It takes us choosing to set our desires aside for the sake others. Love is an everyday, moment-by-moment decision to do what most people will not because they are either too busy or too comfortable in their own skin.

Jesus didn’t have an issue with loving others. Not at all! And you know what? He actually had more people following Him around than any of us could tolerate. If I was in that situation, I probably would have asked the 12 Disciples to throw on some black t-shirts that said SECURITY on them so none of the annoying people got too close. But Jesus found a way to welcome them all; people who were just like you and me in God’s eyes (minus the t-shirts and the bumper stickers, of course… )

 
Originally published November 12, 2013.

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