I was watching a news program this past week, one that included commentary by a panel of media personalities. The topic being discussed lightly touched on matters of faith and one of the panelists made a deeply personal statement about her experience. She graciously, but quite clearly expressed her disappointment in others and said, “I used to be a Christian, but I no longer am because I did not see Jesus among them.”
Her comment struck me and over the next hours and several days, I spent some time contemplating her comment. I actually found her words a bit discouraging because I value others and my greatest desire is that people will come to know the Lord Jesus and walk with him, leading to inner peace here on Earth, and a blessed eternity.
So I say this in response, with no judgement meant toward her. My hope is that this woman will take her eyes off of people and look instead to Jesus, who is, “The author and finisher of our faith.” I boldly say, look to Him!
However, I can identify with this person. Over the years, I and my family have personally experienced some of the worst that people have to offer. Sadly, these people often are professing believers. Some day, Lord willing, I will relate some of these experiences as I write my life story.
But I also hasten to add that I have said and done things to others that were not pleasing to the Lord. On occasion, I have erred in how I relate to people: the things I have said or that I have done. Often I have prayed that God will make me a blessing to others, but never a curse. But I sometimes fall short, perhaps more than I realize. Just being honest and transparent here, but sometimes I ask myself how I may have hurt or offended someone, perhaps without even realizing it. May God forgive me and help these people to graciously forgive me and enable them to overcome my offense.
Now comes the heart of what I really want to say. We must be very careful to not dismiss the truth of God’s Word the Bible, or diminish who God is because of our experiences or because of the words and actions of others. Our hope is not placed in fallible people, but in God, who is infallible.
You and I are not Mother Theresa, and in an even greater sense, you and I are not the Lord Jesus. Instead, we are sinners. In and of ourselves, we are hopelessly lost without Jesus. Friends, people will often let you down, but our Lord Jesus – if you place your faith in Him – will ever be with you and He will never disappoint you!
As we give our attention to Holy Week, may it be that we, “Turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
So I prayed for this person on the news, one who is so clearly disappointed in people, yet so much in need of seeing the Lord Jesus Himself. May it be that in whatever time she has left, she discovers biblical truth, the love of our Lord Jesus, and that she places her full faith in Him. May this be so for each of us as well.
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2021
(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)