Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. I live just a few miles from the University of Phoenix stadium where the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots faced each other to see who would be Super Bowl XLIX champions. Regardless of what team you were pulling for, or if you didn’t really care, it was a great game. The Patriots won, but, hey, GO SEAHAWKS!
My friend Kathy’s husband, Randy, although retired, works the events at the stadium for extra income. Since they’re from Seattle, it’s obvious who they wanted to win. Randy loved being in the middle of all the hype of Super Bowl, especially with the Seahawks.
Kathy and Randy attend the same church we do, and she was telling me a story yesterday at church. Randy was already at the stadium working. Kathy took her young granddaughter, Emily, to visit the NFL experience at the stadium on Saturday. While there they encountered a man passing out gospel cards saying Repent or You’re Going to Hell. The man was screaming at those passing by, “You’re all going to hell!”
When does truth become obnoxious? Counter-productive? Not everyone in that crowd was destined for hell, so it’s erroneous to scream such a statement. It was only a partial truth. As Christians, our desire should always be to only speak truth, especially when we set ourselves to be His representatives.
Remember the popularity of paraphernalia that had WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Well, what would Jesus do if he had walked among the crowds at Super Bowl? Truth as I see it is this: Jesus would ooze love and compassion. His message would be, “I love you. Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden. The joy I give is far greater than anything you receive from Super Bowl.”
Jesus would NOT be screaming, “You’re all going to hell,” in a voice that says he’s happy to send you to hell. He weeps over a lost, hurting, and misguided humanity. Jesus has no problem confronting sin or evil, but the man Kathy encountered does not represent the Jesus I know and serve.
Have people failed you – those claiming to be Christians? Even the most sincere, compassionate, loving Christian is still fallible, imperfect, and full of human flaws and error. Set your eyes on Jesus. He never fails. He is Truth. He is Love. He is God.