Years ago my good friend Vince and I would hear about Christians acting very much unlike Jesus and we would just say, “Christians make me look bad.” We weren’t attempting to elevate ourselves through that statement but were simply acknowledging that sometimes Christians do things in the name of Jesus that reflect poorly on the rest of us.
Pat Robertson has earned the “Christians make me look bad” moniker more than once. He did so again last week.
After the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning and traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, Robertson shared his feelings on the situation. He claimed that the Broncos had treated Tebow “shabbily” and that it would “serve [the Broncos] right” if Manning reinjured himself.
Like Robertson, I’m all aboard the Tebow Train because Tebow loves Jesus. Unlike Robertson, though, I don’t think people who love Jesus should relish the potential of another person getting hurt. I’m sure Tebow doesn’t even want Manning to get hurt and he’s the one who was replaced.
It’s statements like Robertson’s that make me shake my head and think to myself, “Christians make me look bad.” Whenever I think that, though, I’m always humbled to think about the things I do on a daily basis that make Christians look bad.
I’m not that nice.
I drive aggressively.
I’m far too competitive.
Even though he may make me look bad, Pat Robertson needs grace just as much as I do. It’s really hard to show him that grace, though, when he keeps opening his mouth and spouting ridiculous rhetoric that paints Christians in a bad light.
No matter how upset it makes me, though, I can’t stop Pat Robertson from using his platform to say whatever he wants. What I can do, though, is realize we all need a lot of grace because we all do and say things that would make Jesus shake his head.
And instead of getting angry and focusing on all the things Christians do to make us look bad, we need to focus on living lives that redefine what a Christian is in the world. If those around us think Christians are judgmental, unaccepting and mean then we need to live in such a way to change their definition. Because if enough of us are living definition-changing lives, then eventually it won’t matter what Pat Robertson says.
And that will be a great day.
How do you respond when Christians make you look bad?