Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Really, Pope Francis, Really?

A few days ago, Pope Francis sent this tweet to 2.6 million people : "A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy."

I am not intending to be disrespectful or rude, but I have to say, what a ridiculous statement to make!
I have spent most of my life battling depression. I have seen others with strong faith battle depression, and end their journey through suicide. When family members and friends have died, I, along with my entire church family, have grieved. We have cried and we have been sad.
Being sad is not a sin. 
Christians are human beings - we experience life's seasons.

When I hear people say ridiculous statements such as the one mentioned above, I get angry. Not only does it give people a false expectation of what the Christian life looks like, it also brings a sense of shame and condemnation to any Christian who has ever been sad about anything.

Statements like the Pope's tweet give people this false expectation that if someone is a Christian they are going to be perfect. What a lie!  Newsflash! I'm a person. I make mistakes. I open my mouth when I should just keep it closed. I give in to things I shouldn't, and I don't always love the way Christ exemplified. But I am still a Christian. I still love, and am completely loved by God. As are you.

I want you to know that the Christian life is not a perfect one. There will be seasons of sadness. There will be moments of boredom. It does not make you a 'bad Christian.'

John 16:33 says 'in this world, you will have trouble.' John 11:35 - the shortest verse in the Bible, says 'Jesus wept.' And no - they weren't tears of joy. They were tears of sadness, of realizing his friend, Lazarus was dead. Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything, including a time to mourn, and a time to weep. And if that's not enough for you - read the book of Psalms. King David was described by God as a man after God's own heart. and he had some really, really low moments.

There is no shame in being sad, friends. The difference between the sadness a Christian faces, and the sadness someone who doesn't know Christ faces, is that we have eternal Hope. Even in our saddest, most broken moments, we have a LifeLine to cling to. We have a strength that goes beyond ourselves, and peace that transcends all understanding.

Don't listen to the lies that being sad makes you a lesser Christian, or a 'bad one.' There are no good and bad Christians, only people following Jesus. We're each on a different journey.

Don't give up friends. He is in you. He is with you. He loves you.

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