How You Know Me

I've been meeting lots of new people.  It's one of the perks of starting a new church.  I have been told that I should post on my blog and do Facebook Live videos, so that people can get to know me.  It's kind of scary.  Once they know me, will they still like me?  Hmm.  Guess that's a risk that comes with being a pastor.

I talk to a lot of hurting people in my line of work.  It is sad, but it is also one of the biggest blessings that God has afforded me...the chance to share the burden.

Recently, I have encountered a more than a few people that have experienced hurt from the church world.  For some, a pastor has disappointed them with hurtful words.  For others, church members have cast them out of fellowship because of a disagreement.  Still others simply say they do not feel welcome, because they know they are being judged.  Universally, I find that most of the problems that people have with "church" is actually a problem they have with "church people".

It's unfortunate.  It is hard to explain why a person causes harm in the name of a God that seeks only to heal.  Or why a church splits into pieces when they serve a God that asks us to united.  For many, it begins to feel like a pitch made by a used car salesman that wants to make a sale, but definitely doesn't have any confidence in what he is selling.

Maybe that's why Jesus said these words.

"By this, everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." - John 13:35

He tells us not to judge others, not because there is no judgment.  Rather, because He doesn't need our help with it.  His judgment is incredibly unfair.  He cast it all upon Jesus.

He tells us not to condemn others.  In fact, it is expressed quite eloquently in Romans 8 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  How do I become one of those?  Jesus said, "Follow Me".  Done.

He tells us not to ignore others.  Sometimes, we think that, so long as we are not actively hurting someone, then we are in the clear.  Yet, Jesus (and later His brother James) teaches prominently about the evil of inaction when action is required.

It is not enough to "not hate".  He calls us to love.

It is not enough to "not steal".  He calls us to give.

It is not enough to "not lie".  He calls us to proclaim the Truth.

And the truth is, the only way the world will know that we are disciples of Christ is if we demonstrate our love for people.  Your bumper sticker doesn't matter, soccer mom.  Your title doesn't matter, pastor.  Your degree is irrelevant, professor.

Love one another.  I'll love you.  You love me.  That's how you know me.  I am a follower of Christ.

Matt Monyhan

Matt Monyhan is the Lead Pastor of Real Family Church. He has been in ministry for almost 2 decades and is a husband and father of 2 sons.