Monday, August 9, 2010

You Give Love a Bad Name

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.

Chatty Kelly


Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Oh, I so don't want to give Love a bad name. By His grace, mercy and strength, may we be His vessels. May His strength and beauty shine through our weakness and brokenness.

Love you friend.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

GREAT application.

Mocha with Linda said...


KrippledWarrior said...

It's all about the LOVE.
If you can't do it with love, then try to serve in another way.
The bible is quite clear on the point that teachers are going to be held to a higher standard than the rest.
Even if your theology is crystal, and your dogma is flawless. Without the LOVE of Christ, you have nothing.
But if your theology is unclear, and your dogma is full of errors, and with the LOVE in you. Eternity is your reward. Thank you.

Heart2Heart said...


This type of example truly does not show the love of the God we all love and serve. It's sad that people go to the extremes and try to scare people into heaven, but unfortunately it doesn't work most of the time and gives our God a bad name in their eyes.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Julie Gillies said...

Oh, I hear you on this one, Kelly!

A dear friend in women's ministry once said to a group of us at a meeting: "I will, at some point, disappoint you. Not that I'll be trying, but I'm only human. We'll all eventually disappoint each other."

We just have to bear with one another, don't we? I constantly cry out to the Lord to help me walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. But it's a daily struggle.

T. Anne said...

I believe he'll deliver too and you know what? it brings me the deepest joy. Can't wait!

I try my hardest to show everyones Christ's love, but unfortunately I fall short on so many occasions. I try to remember when people are cruel to me that we all fall short sometimes.

Melanie said...

I'm counting on Him to deliver!

Sue J. said...

We'll all fall short, no question. I have asked God to work in spite of my sin and shortcomings, because it's not me I want folks to see anyway. So, even when I mess up, I trust that God will work regardless. He doesn't need me--but, boy, do I need teaching examples to grow by. Fall into those plenty.

Nice twist on some classic 80s!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

great reminder for all of us Christians.

thanks, Kelly!

Andrea said...

AMEN...I pray I am not giving GOD a bad name, yet I know I fail HIM miserably sometimes. VERY convicting post, my friend!
Hugs, love, and prayers,