The idea that Christians can be quarrelsome, hostile, and disputatious isn’t surprising. How is it that people—people devoted to Jesus—sometimes feel driven from Christianity? Why are there Christians on all sides of cultural and political issues, arguing with non-believers and fellow Christians alike? Is this really what Jesus intended for his disciples?
Are we going to be content just being Christians, or are we going to be disciples (followers)? Can you imagine what your workplace and community would be like if you loved the way Jesus calls us to love? Can you imagine what would happen in our nation—in our world—if Christians everywhere began living like disciples? What if for the next three to six months, Christians (you!) committed to love the people around them like Jesus?
Wouldn't it be great to have a faith without doubts? Yet most believers wrestle with doubt at some level. We face circumstances that don’t add up. We see suffering and injustice in the world. Doubt grabs our minds and emotions. We wonder if we’re just making excuses for a God who isn’t really there or, who isn’t there in the way we assumed. Jesus commanded: “Doubt not.” But when he said that, he didn’t mean for us to quit feeling doubtful. One question posed by Jesus has the power to help you move past your doubt.
Perhaps the most popular commandment among those who don’t follow Jesus is “judge not.” It’s the command Christians are most often accused of violating. It’s also one of the most misunderstood of Jesus’ commands. People size each other up all the time. We all do it. This command from Jesus has the power to change all of your relationships.
We assume that our sin makes God angry. But Jesus gave us a new reason not to sin, and it's better than fear or guilt. After the resurrection, the early church couldn’t go back to embrace a Temple Model: sacred men in sacred places with special interpretations of sacred texts. Instead, they now had one new commandment: love one another as Jesus had loved them. Jesus gave his followers another commandment related to the love one another command: sin no more. But how are we supposed to do that when we are so imperfect?