The questions usually asked is which is more important for a Christian,
Social justice issues like taking care of the poor, helping the sick, freeing the trafficked, oppressed etc.
Having your sins forgiven, Grace, Are you transformed by God’s love?
But is this the wrong question? Are both questions misleading. Which is more important?
Can we love others if we don’t love ourselves? If we don’t let that be real for ourselves, how can we let it be real for others?
Jesus didn’t separate the way He treated people with the need to examine ourselves and ask whether there is hope for us too. They were intrinsically linked.
Lots of people throw themselves into serving others because they subconsciously think that it is the answer to their own salvation. They are trying to fix themselves through fixing others. But this will only end in disaster. It doesn’t solve the problem of our own pain. It simply distracts us from it.
Is this why so many Pastors get burned out?
Is this why so many people can’t stand Christianity?
Much of Christianity is based around the idea that we are all sinners and need salvation. Which is great and all, until even when we are saved we still think of ourselves as evil and corrupt. We are afraid to claim freedom in case it makes us spiritually big headed. So we constantly beat ourselves up about our behaviors and thoughts until we don’t believe we have any worth.
But where has that got us?
Then we’re told to spread God’s love around the world.
But if we can’t believe that God’s love is true and freeing for us, how do we expect anyone else to.
We mentally beat ourselves up because we’ve been led to believe we’re meant to be perfect but have words of Grace, Peace and freedom for our friends who come to us looking for redemption.
We mentally beat ourselves up because we’ve been led to believe we’re meant to be perfect and take that out on others by shining a light on their pain and mistakes; to distract ourselves and everyone else from our own.
It’s true that we’re living as two different people. But it’s not simply the person we are in private and the person we are in public. It’s also the person who believes they are free and the person who doesn’t.
Social justice is as important as knowing you are worthy and accepted just as you are.
The questions is, do you really believe it?