An Apology

Christianity has gotten a bad rap these days, so I wanted to make a formal apology.

I would love to apologize for all those things that other Christians have done.

I could apologize for the crusades or sex scandals or TV preachers.

I could apologize for those Christians who use the Bible as a weapon against you instead of as a picture of God’s love for you.

I could say I was sorry for all those things while I was really saying that I am better than them.

I would like to make that kind of apology, the kind that is big and broad and that makes me look like an “open-minded” Christian while I look smugly down my noses at all of those people other people who have messed up.

I would like to make that apology; but the truth is, I have my own stuff that I hope you forgive me for.

I am sorry for hording the love of Jesus.

I am sorry for not offering you the grace that he offered me.

I am sorry that love is something that I talk about way more than something I do

I am sorry for seeing you as a project and not as a person sometimes

I am sorry for railing against your sin while my own sin has free reign in my life sometimes

I am sorry for acting like I have it all together—like my life is the perfect life.

I am sorry for forgetting that I am just a messed up sinner who has been offered God’s free gift of grace.

I am sorry

I need to apologize to those of you who are hungry because I have closets full of stuff that I knew when I bought it that I would only use it for a day, maybe two.

I need to say I am sorry to those of you who are lonely because more than I like to admit I shut you out because I have my own circle of friends and to reach out to you would cost something of me.

And even though the reward of knowing you and seeing the great and amazing way that God created you to be like him would be worth it I am sorry because most of the time I just don’t put in the effort.

I need to say I am sorry to all of those I have passed in the street or ignored in even my church because I was too caught up in me to care about you or even see you.

I am sorry for helping out at outreach projects and going on mission trips and then feeling like I have done all that I can to help you find Jesus.

I am sorry for saying that I care about you while I lived my life to please me.

I am sorry for all the days when I have walked through this world saying that I followed Jesus when in fact I was following my own desires.

I am sorry that you can’t see the love of Jesus in me.

Christianity has an image problem and I am to blame.

Jesus is offering love and hope and acceptance and peace and grace—amazing grace—but you can’t always see that in me.

And for that I am truly sorry.

5 thoughts on “An Apology

  • July 9, 2008 at 5:30 AM
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    Your honesty hurts. All the things you wrote – it’s all true about me too.
    I’m sorry Jesus. We’re all a little
    selfish, aren’t we?

    Reply
  • July 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM
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    In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller wrote of doing that in person on campus and the effect it had on the largely pagan people who came by.

    I keep wondering if that’s not what’s necessary from us to get people to understand the reality of our flawed attempts to follow Jesus do not mean we aren’t sold out to Him. They mean that the scars of Adam are real, and lasting.

    Thanks for this post Shane.

    David

    Reply
  • July 9, 2008 at 10:24 PM
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    Kudos Shane. I stand guitly. Guilty of it all.To all those out there I’ve hurt forgive me. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy!
    Kelli

    Reply
  • July 10, 2008 at 12:51 PM
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    You gave voice to my own heart. God bless!

    Reply
  • July 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM
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    Wow. This statement opened up my eyes. We like to justify ourselves to make us feel right in front of God’s eyes. Too bad He knows every little aspect of our lives. Every day that we wake up, God gives us a chance for redemption.Today looks like a good day to start over.

    Reply

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