“If you wore your hair past your ears, you were going to hell.”
“If you wore a colored dress shirt to church, instead of a white shirt, you were going to hell.”
“If you were at a stop light and looked poorly at a woman and then got into a wreck and died, you were going to hell.”
The list of rules and unofficial law went on and on. Deep diving into the insanity of whether you wore a short sleeve shirt versus a long sleeve shirt, to church, determining your eternal destination.
“God’s grace was something that was preached but not understood.”
God reminded me this past week that we all come from different places. Even members of the same church, who are fellow believers in Christ, have prior built foundations. Rules and family situations, that may have felt true and normal at the time, which turned out to be built on lies of men.
I’m reminded that if the backdrops of our lives can differ so much with those that are around us, what about those that we encounter online?
I think we can easily assume that others are just like us. Raised, perhaps, in stable families; Raised in churches that were more about God’s grace versus invented “Biblical” law.
“I was afraid to read the Bible.”
We assume so much in our day-to-day interactions. This week, when I was able to actually listen to someone, I heard a different story than my own. I had assumed, perhaps projected my own experience, and I was wrong.
God is teaching me to listen more intently. I can’t imagine growing up without the peace that God has shown me through his grace. I can’t imagine thinking that my slightest action was going to send me to hell. I’m sure my wearing shorts to church, more often than not, would secure me a permanent place there… if the laws I described above were founded in truth. Thankfully, God, in his grace, isn’t concerned about my clothing.
The lies of the devil are prevalent. His lies even infect the church. Be aware. Listen. Lift a fellow brother or sister up. Speak truth.