• Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

To My Non-Christian Friends...


“Not all who sound religious are really godly people.  They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven.  For the decisive question is  whether they obey my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 (TLB)

My heart hurts, literally hurts, when I scroll through social media these days.  The tension between worldviews is clearly present, as always, but it’s the juxtaposition of them that is so staggeringly not in favor of the faith to which I cling. This very week I’ve watched those I care for and respect as followers of Jesus post mean and nasty things on social media towards those voting differently. I’ve witnessed “shaming posts” from those who expect me as a Christ-follower to forward or type “Amen” to these mean things, thus insinuating that I’m somehow not really a follower of Jesus if I don’t. It’s maddening. But then, I surprisingly see the opposite at play. Friends who don’t follow Jesus, posting reminders that those who look different, believe different, those who are covered in tattoos and piercings are sometimes more kind than those “religious” people. When I see these posts I can’t help but think, “Yes, I am so sorry my friend, you are right.” But what do I do? How do I, one little voice, help? I can offer my version of clarity for anyone willing to read these words. How many of you like Peanut M&M’s? I. Love. Them!  Seriously, I don’t buy them because I can’t eat just a few. I’d historically buy the “family size” bag, arguing that of course a family of 4 needs the big bag. But in all honesty, I’d eat most of it, one handful every single time I’d walk through the kitchen. Ugh! Now, as delicious as these little pieces of heaven can be, there is a dark side. It has happened to me maybe 5 or 6 times in my life and if it’s happened to you, you’ll know EXACTLY how awful this can be. It’s when you are chomping along, enjoying the deliciousness, and then bite into one with a rotten peanut inside. It. Is. Disgusting! There you are expecting chocolate and peanut bliss and all of the sudden, the taste of burnt salami. It’s absolutely gross. Christians are a lot like this. You may encounter many who are wonderfully colorful, fun, and delicious to be around. BUT, there are also those who profess to be Christians who are just rotten nuts inside — sad, but true. Jesus himself called it out in this verse from Matthew…

“Not all who sound religious are really godly people.  They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven.  For the decisive question is  whether they obey my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 (TLB)

So, to my non-Christian friends, here’s what I’d like you to remember…        -   Not all Christians spew hate on social media        -   Not all Christians condemn and ostracize the LGBTQA community        -   Not all Christians are judging your lifestyle and choices    (I hold my fellow believers accountable to what they say they believe,            but not someone who doesn’t follow my Lord.)        -   Not all Christians slander those who vote differently        -   Not all Christians will be mean if their candidate does or doesn’t take office        -   Not all Christians pretend to have life together        -   Not all Christians are the same, so please, don’t lump us all together This list is way too short, but I’d like to leave you with one more point. Please remember, never let people, especially Christians, ruin God for you. We are not all rotten nuts inside. To my Christian friends, here’s what I’d like us to remember…        -   We are not perfect        -   We still need God’s grace and love for ourselves every single day        -   We don’t want others judging the way we live out our religious freedoms        -   We sometimes turn others off to Jesus with how we express our faith        -   We don’t always love well        -   We are sometimes unkind and very unlike Jesus with our words and posts        -   We need to LOVE those who are different than us for the sake of the gospel So let’s be better at representing our faith and our Lord. And no matter which camp we fall in, a believer in Jesus or non-believer, may we be reminded that God is real and redemption is available to all NO MATTER WHAT. Love well today my friends. For Your Reflection… What is God stirring in you as you read this blog today? Are you loving like Jesus or is there a “rotten” taste spewing from you these days? Ask God; he’ll tell you the truth.

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