4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.Ephesians 2: 4-9
It’s not your burden. Our job as Christians is not to save people. Just like you cannot work yourself to salvation, people cannot save people when it comes to soul salvation.
Hana and I just joined a small group at the church we have been going to in Athens and this topic came up. How do we, as Christians, handle a situation where someone’s salvation is at stake? How do we go through life not knowing where other people stand with Christ? My answer is this, it doesn’t matter what I know. My attitude should remain the same, to love everybody.
We can get so caught up in other people’s messes that we forget we have our own. On top of that we get this overwhelming sense of responsibility to someone else’s salvation. Some Christians make it seem as though our job is to convert people or save their souls. Our job is to love people and through that love GOD can convert people. He is the only one with the power to save. It is by His grace and through our faith that we are saved, not your bible-thumping neighbor that passes out pamphlets.
Side bar: I don’t know the right way to evangelize so I apologize for the last statement. The pamphlet could open a door for someone to accept Christ, who knows.
For me, my goal is to love others well. I want to love people so well that it has to be questioned, “why does he keep showing up, why did he forgive me, why does he write every week, why does he keep loving, etc.?” It’s tough for me because I have an introverted, sarcastic personality. My issues revolve around how people perceive my love, so that is something I work on. Thanks to my wife, I know what not to say, unfortunately it tends to be after the fact. I’m not perfect, okay?
I say all of this so that maybe we can all relax. Yes we are on mission. Yes it is uncomfortable and inconvenient sometimes. But at the end of the day all we can do is try, we can’t save. Let go of that mentality. Let go of the stress that comes with feeling like you have to save the world. No, you have to love the world. When I think of it like this, I sigh with relief. I don’t stop showing up or loving difficult people, but I accept the reality that I am not in control of their salvation. That is not my cross to bear and it isn’t yours either. Show up, be consistent, and pray. That is my responsibility. Maybe it is yours too.