Shot through the heart, and you're to blame.
Darling, you give love a bad name.
You Give Love a Bad Name, Bon Jovi, 1986
God is love. Many people don't know or experience God in their every day lives. It is up to us, as Christians, to show them love and thereby they see God. The problem is, as Christians we screw it up. Then, we're to blame. We give Love a bad name. We give God a bad name.
One of my friends from elementary school recently shared on his Facebook status that while he was riding his bicycle, a "Christian" man tried to slip him a religious pamphlet (tract). Now why would anyone try to hand something to a guy on a bike is beyond me, but anyway, my friend didn't accept it but pedalled on. As he did, the man's 6 or 7 year old son yelled to my biker friend, "Sinner! You're going to hell!"
Now really, did that man and his son exemplify God's love with that interaction? I don't know if my childhood friend is a Christian or not. But if not, that interaction didn't bring him one step closer to knowing the love of Jesus. Actually, just the opposite.
The problem with Christianity is Christians. And I should know! Because I screw it up daily. I'm self-centered. I want my own way. Last week I inadvertently offended two different friends by poor word choices...and I'm supposed to be a writer! I should use words better. If people are looking at me to see God, to see love - I give Love a bad name!
What I hope is that people can see Jesus in spite of me. They can see my screwed up mess, and see that I still have hope and joy because of God's love! God is a God of love and mercy. I am sinner, just like that man's son yelled. "Sinner!" And so are that man, his son, my friend, and you.
But if we know Love, even though we sometimes give Love a bad name, He promises Heaven. And I believe He'll deliver.