There was a girl in my high school who attended parties in the name of guard duty. She would watch over her bestie in case a guy tried to take advantage of her after consuming too much alcohol, or something.
She was ever glossed in cherry pink lips, charming, flirtatious. Churched.
At the time, I thought those girls were weak. Stupid. The one girl for knowingly (continuously) putting herself in dangerous situations—the other for trying to fit in with the crowd in the name of protection.
What a bad example, I thought, discussing life with my friends under shade of tree and good reputation. She’s certainly crossed the line from Christian to compromise.
My own faith walk looked a lot different—for different reasons—but now that I’ve walked a little farther and read and re-read about Jesus’ life, I get it. Living in comfort is safe, but that’s all.
Jesus crossed the boundaries all the time. He never joined people in their sin, but he still joined the people. The religious of the day had set up boundaries—cross a certain line and your reputation will be ruined. Jesus didn’t even glance at those lines. He dined with tax collectors and sinners. On their own turf, Jesus shared His love knowing it would ruin his reputation with the religious elite.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Luke 19:5-7.
Did they ever once consider Zacchaeus?
Now, I don’t know what went on at those parties with the two friends—I didn’t bother to cross that line—but now I know better than to assume the watchdog of the two had bad intentions. And as for the girl who drank too much and somethinged—she’s exactly the kind of people Jesus would have made his friend. Or perhaps she just needed a reminder of her worth.
Anyway, I guess I write this because I recognize a dangerous trend. Not everyone will be called to cross the boundary lines, but the ones that do don’t need fellow believers (of all people) to assume the worst. We all know how that went down for Jesus. He succeeded in His mission, but not without enduring extreme pain from those who should have known better.
Consider what God calls you to do. You don’t need to be safe if He’s with you. You don’t need the opinion’s of the crowd. You just need a brave set of feet.