First, let me start by saying I’m glad the last post was received so well and resonated with so many folks! Christianity is the largest religion in the world, so I sensed it’d ultimately reach a few hearts. Even so, it genuinely made me happy to know that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. There are so many people out there hungry for truth! We’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic isolating us from church, fellowship, and community! The cornerstones to your spiritual life!
Secondly, It may seem tertiary but make no mistake, this pandemic has affected us spiritually. So, yeah politics and sports are cool, but what about my soul? How can I replenish it if most of the churches are closed and I’m too spent to even pray for myself? I don’t find many things online specifically geared toward young Christian men, so it is my goal to reverse that with blogs like these.
Disclaimer: If you are female and reading this, you aren’t necessarily exempt from this message. The Bible mentions there is no male or female (super ahead of its time with the nonbinary thing!). So, especially in the King James version (not Lebron) you only see masculine words like sons and brothers. The male form speaks for all. It’s similar to how in Spanish there’s no actual word for a sibling, so you just say hermanos (brothers) to say “siblings”.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”Galatians 3:28
As young people it’s normal that we want to go out enjoy ourselves, occasionally drink (just not getting sloshed right?). There aren’t many young people who like to stay in the house all day. So, fear of missing out is a big thing for us. But for us backsliders and baby Christians reentering the faith, it can be a double-edged sword. We could either be at the point of being sick and tired of this world or still subject to slipping up which is a vulnerable place to be!
We must die to our flesh. It may be hard to when we open Instagram and see our peers partying in Cancun or we can say, “been there, done that”, and want to get toward something wholesome, durable, and eternal. That’s only found in God. What we think we’re missing out on may seem good to us, but it ain’t good for us.
We must love our neighbor. It’s a pillar of our faith. A couple of years ago I learned this firsthand living with a roommate in Northern Virginia. It was the height of the pandemic and a very stressful, uncertain time. As a man of faith and grad student hopelessly jobhunting (in one of the most expensive areas of the country), he felt every bit of this stress. This affected him and he would be very irritable and argumentative at times. My intolerance for this didn’t help either. So, initially, we didn’t get along much.
He was about four years older than me and we were in two different places in our lives. However, we began having more meaningful conversations about our faith, stories, experiences, goals, etc. Usually at night when I got home from work and he’d be in the dining room on his laptop doing assignments. We even began hanging out on the weekends going downtown to play soccer, to the movies, and presidential debate watch parties. We eventually became friends. Over the months, we were able to overcome the differences that the world programs us to view badly like race, background, class, age, etc. Once again Galatians 3:28!! Yet we took the time to get to know each other, put aside pride, and formed a true brotherhood.
Nowadays, I can call him and know he’ll hold me accountable, give advice about adulting, finances, and other things the public school system didn’t teach me thoroughly. Also, personal things I share with no one else. Without judgment, may I add? In fact, a deep conversation with him is what inspired the last blog post. Our talk made me think about how not everyone has that; A friendship deeper than the worldly meaning based on shared faith and respect. We recall those old disagreements and laugh about it now.
So, between Christian friendships and secular fair-weather friendships, the differences are quite stark. With the latter, the focus is on worldly pursuit. Whereas with the former we’re aiming toward something bigger than ourselves. To be salt and light in this world. To be in it but not of it. That’s way more sustainable!
Absolutely, loving petty people is extremely challenging. It’s one of the hardest parts of our faith and also the most known part about our faith from outsiders. But we’re called to love by Jesus Christ. Even commanded (1 John 4:20). Check this out; Have you ever heard this story?… There’s a story of a former policeman in Michigan, Andrew Collins who framed an innocent man Jameel McGee for possession of crack cocaine. Wrongfully convicted, he went on to spend three years in federal prison. Surprisingly, they not only reconciled but forged a friendship. Would you have it in you to do that? Stew on that. Until next time!
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?1 John 4:20