Evangelize. Go forth and spread the Good News to the ends of the earth.
Too often, we think it’s the ends of the earth that need to meet Jesus and not those we come into contact with every day. The lonely widow down the street. The checker at the grocery store. The babysitter. The guy behind us in line. These people need Jesus, too.
The question then arises: Exactly who do we think Jesus is? Because, how we see Jesus and the Father and God in general are going to influence our message and affect the way others perceive God.
One example that pops into my mind is when someone experiences illness or a death in the family, and they utter those words, “God’s will be done,” or “It’s God’s will.” Do we really believe that He wills our suffering? He wants to walk through our suffering with us, and Catholics understand the beauty of offering up their suffering, but do we believe that whatever sorrow we’re going through at the moment pleases God? A person unfamiliar with the Father, Son and Spirit would, I think, run screaming from this God.
Or do we see the Father as a tyrannical parent, waiting for us to step out of line so He can send us a plague. And is Jesus, His Son, the enforcer? We are called to speak the Truth, and sometimes that includes pointing out sin, but we must always remember that the purpose behind this is that God loves each of us so much that He wants us to be with Him in Heaven forever. And while that person is sinning, maybe living with someone outside of marriage, He’s loving them even then. And so must we. That doesn’t mean we say what they are doing is fine, but if we ostracize them, what image of God will they have? One of a God who wants nothing to do with them until they get in line.
Walking with God can be a difficult road to travel, and it means we must carry our cross, whatever that is. But a relationship with God isn’t only about the cross. It’s also about joy, and only after people meet God in all his mercy and love will they want to please Him by doing His will. They will understand that His will is for their good.
Take a moment to consider the characteristics that you have assigned to God. We are all in danger of creating God in OUR image, so we need to understand who He is through Scripture and daily prayer. He called us to go forth and spread HIS message, not ours, and when we do this, the Holy Spirit can get to work converting hearts.
© Jacqueline Vick, 2017