Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
My family and I kicked it to Six Flags over Georgia last Friday. I understand why I vowed never to go in the middle of summer - it was brutally hot. Actually, the crowd at the park wasn't too bad at all. But, the heat and humidity will just knock you out! And, don't think for a second that the park doesn't take advantage of it! Almost $4.00 for a bottle of water - and, of course, NO water fountains in sight. But, I digress...
So, we're standing in line for one of the rides, and I see a woman wearing a t-shirt like the one pictured here. At first I sorta chuckled, but then I got a little aggravated. I mean, when other Christians see this shirt, they'll probably laugh, or sigh & roll their eyes and smile. And, I'm sure that was the intent of the person who designed the shirt - as well as the person wearing it. But, what they both fail to realize is that the vast majority of the people who see this t-shirt are going to be turned off by it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people who don't believe in Jesus Christ have a misguided view of what being a Christ-follower really means. But, most importantly, they have a skewed belief of who Christ himself is. And, when I see t-shirts like this, I've gotta say that I don't blame them. Really, wearing a t-shirt like this (even though it wasn't intended for harm) only damages the cause for Christ. It's no different (maybe less invasive, but no different) than the bullhorn guy standing on the street corner yelling and condemning people. It just leaves a bad taste people's mouths.
Fortunately for us as believers, we are saved by God's grace. But, even though we're covered by His grace, we have a responsibility to point people TO Christ, not repel them. And, we also have to understand that t-shirts are just the tip of the iceberg. We've got to be careful not to push people further away from Christ's love by our actions and choices - ALL of them.
Lake many of you, this is an area in which I continue to struggle. But, when the focus is on God and on others, rather than myself, the path becomes much clearer for everyone!