Here is an edited version of this post I did very early on in my blogging. Enjoy and be encouraged!
Ever had a conversation with another Christian that uses scripture and God to counter every feeling you have – good or bad – but especially during the times you feel so down trodden with circumstances in your life that you cannot help but find yourself being filled with worry and anxiousness – even over what seems to be the smallest of things?
Or, have you been the one who constantly is the one to do this to others?
My friend, if either of these scenarios describe you, you have single handedly encountered the “Jesus Juke”.
Jesus Juking guilts others deep into shame. It completely denies that any of us that we do in fact feel worry or fear at times in our lives, in turn, slaps a nice Jesus “gift wrap” (scripture) on it all as a means to shame, rather than encourage.
For feelings are sinful, right? Think again!
I know this pain, friends – on both ends. And when I have found myself engaging in this act, I backtrack and immediately ask for forgiveness.
Since becoming a Christian, I’ve learned that grace is a struggling art in our Christian community. The whole concept of “Jesus Juking“, as Jon Acuff discusses on his blog, has become a way to “rebuke” others – yet it’s a botched form of rebuke. It judges rather than encourages.
To rebuke means we simply “brings the truth to light.” It brings who Christ [truth] is into the picture, not our interpretations of who He is. It’s not pride-laden, judgmental, and idolatrous, completely kicking God out of the picture.
To do such, isn’t how God calls us to live our lives as His disciples.
Yes, law is important, but we no longer have to live under such condemnation. We don’t need to live under such guilt or shame – or impress such on others. Why? One name…Jesus.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set yout free from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)
God granted pardon from our sin by offering is the gift of grace [Jesus] that we have a choice to accept into our lives. Though this Gift has been given to us, and embracing it, doesn’t mean we’ll never feel another fleshly emotion [like worry or fear] again. Absolutely not!
We’re human, friends. We have a sinful side, despite our salvation – dislike it all you want.
We still live in this body while we’re here. Yes, we’re to always be guided by the Holy Spirit to make proper decisions, helping through moments where we do feel down trodden; and yes, worried or scared at times. But it’s doesn’t mean we’ll never feel such emotions again.
Broken down…salvation doesn’t equate to making us deities. It simply allows us to live freely from the constraints this world desires to shackle us with.
Feelings aren’t the sin! Walking out in the feelings? This is the sin. It’s is giving feet to the emotions that seek to ensnare us, separating us from Christ.
This is where many Christians get tripped up, and can’t keep doing this if we’re to live by the grace we’ve been given; the very grace to be expressed through our attitudes to everyone – Christian and non-Christian alike.
Grace alone rebukes. We don’t need to do anything more to bright the truth to light except reveal that He is simply God and He has all this.
Grace alone convicts. Conviction prompts growth – not shame. If it does cause such, then the “rebuke” is done in our own strength – not His.
While we’re instructed not to worry (Phil 4:6) – however, read the rest of this scripture! It states, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Hello! Shine the light on Him through your worries…or the ones you encounter through others!
Friends, emotions are real. God created them as a means to purposefully communicate with us through the direction of the Holy Spirit to enter into relationship with us – not to condemn or shame any of us .
Denying you, or anyone, ever the feelings we all experience in worry or fear, denies our own humanity. Friends, we’re not God. Yes, we’re to always strive to become more like Him, but we’ll never be Him.
Denial of anything we feel in life is the first indicator of brokenness friends, and a pretty smile with a beautifully made up mask doesn’t hide brokenness. It only reveals it more. It’s been said a multitude of times over the generations that you can see what others are trying to hide by how they are trying to hide it.
Friends, if you’re caught in the whirlwind of “Jesus Juking” (either by giving it or receiving it) I encourage you all to start taking a full blown inventory of your own hearts, examine them, and slap them all up against God and see what comes of it. I promise you, this is Biblical. (Lam 3:40)
Start looking within to see how He lets you feel everything you feel, yet still loves you – and in turn, reveal this grace to others.
Let yourselves, and others, feel what they feel. Definitely address the worry and pain you see in others (this is a part of graceful rebuke)…but let God do the work to correct the heart. Step out of His way.
How do you do this? Pray, pray, pray…and when you’re done, pray some more. Multiple times per day (if necessary).
By doing this, you keep focus on Him – not your feelings, or anyone else’s. This, in turn, builds strength in your relationship with Him – and encourages it in others. Sometimes, it may feel like it’s taking forever to strengthen this relationship – that you aren’t (or someone else isn’t) getting anywhere.
Giving up a prayer life is easy when discouraged by what we see with our eyes– but keep pressing through. A breakthrough is on the other end!
Don’t give up, don’t give in…keep at it. There’s hope…always, and His name is Jesus. Rest in this…not in shame. And in turn, “unlike” Jesus Juking – and simply pass along His grace that He’s so abundantly given to you.