Blood On My Hands
Recently watching the news, observing a worldwide outcry for a lion that was killed for sport left me sorting through emotions. I love animals and agree wholeheartedly in the ongoing attempts to protect the wildlife from poachers. Yet, the sadness within my heart was not towards the slain lion. The sorrow within was directed toward the reality of our focus in these crucial days.
On a daily basis millions of people die, never realizing the grace found through a relationship with Jesus. While this tragedy happens routinely, many followers of Christ simply shrug their shoulders with an attitude of apathy and go on with life. Oftentimes, this attitude is unrecognized within our own hearts.
To be honest, I am just as guilty. Appeasing my heart with a simple “that’s a shame” demeanor, I go on my way. Yet, does my heart break while encountering people on a regular basis making choices to walk away from God? The tendency of my temperament sometimes portrays a different attitude. Being overwhelmed with disgust towards the choices of the world, concern for the eternal soul seems to have been distinguished.
Seriously, does our heart break for people being poached away by the devil’s trickery into an eternity separated from the blessings of God for all eternity? Do followers of Jesus really and truly care? Or, have we become satisfied with hiding out in our Christian social clubs?
It is concerning to think that the true heart for the lost has vanished as we fell into the trap of allowing our agenda to override the brokenness that is all around. When will we cry out in desperate sorrow for those that die without Jesus as we do for the wildlife issue of late? When will we realign the focus of “ME” towards a realization of all the fragmented lives that surround us, who are experiencing an extinction of joy within their souls? When will this outcry deep within take place and move us towards an unstoppable force of grace in action.
In his farewell address to the church leaders in Ephesus, Paul said: “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:26-27)
In other words, the Apostle Paul was testifying that he made the most of every opportunity he had with every person he came into contact with to share the message of Jesus. On good days or bad days with people that he loved and those he despised, Paul strived to be an unstoppable force of grace.
The sorrow in my heart is overwhelming as my hands are bloodstained. Selfishness has caused me to turn a blind eye to the broken. Paul, on the other hand, chose to be an ambassador of Jesus.
There is blood on my hands. Walking past opportunities towards a comfortable life, I have missed what matters most. Do I care about my neighbors? Do I care about that pain-in-the-neck worker at the local convenient store? Do I care about the driver that cut me off? Is the focus of concern about their eternal destiny or have I become consumed with what I want. Subtly, and sadly, I sometimes see my focus shift from seeing the person to seeing an annoyance, distracting me from what I’m trying to get done. However, the distraction is really my own self…from the opportunity to be an unstoppable force of grace.
The realization must set in that we are not on this planet to enjoy life to the max until our final breath. As followers of Christ, we are called to a mission, which is to be an ambassador for Jesus, reflecting His love and truth, all the while, being an unstoppable force of grace.
I don’t want blood on my hands. Like Paul, I desire to make every opportunity count to represent Jesus well. Are you with me?