Why the Only Thing You Have to Offer is Jesus

“Though JESUS has the moral authority to CONDEMN, He

DOESN’T.”

– Jen Hatmaker

      So there was this whole fiasco about yoga pants. People arguing over an article of clothing. It was in the news and it was all over the Internet. Whether Veronica Partridge intended to hit a nerve or not, when she shared her story of coming to a decision about not publicly wearing leggings, she did.

      It exploded from there, to the point that Dale and Veronica Partridge ended up on Good Morning America to talk about Veronica’s controversial blog post on leggings. I appreciated this article, by Ashley Dickens, which made this crucial point:

“What is infinitely more concerning to me…is the massive attention that it has received from the Christian community. This is just one in a series of questionable “issues” that American Christians have rallied around. Whether it’s yoga pants or an unsuspecting Target clerk wishing us a “Happy Holiday”, we have become notorious for clutching our collective pearls and hotly debating “issues” that frankly, don’t need to be debated…Here’s the thing, friends: there are far weightier matters at stake than leggings or the “war” on Christmas. Sometimes, I fear that we have become so consumed with our sanitized, insulated lives, that we have all but forgotten that there are actual, literal wars being fought all over the world. 

     I can appreciate Veronica Partridge’s testimony about leggings. When I read her post, I am struck by her submission to Christ, a submission that enabled her to respond to His promptings in her heart and publicly share her story. I doubt she had an inkling of how the world would respond.

     I am equally as compelled when I read Ashley Dickens response – a response not directed at Veronica Partridge, but rather at the Christian world debating an issue of clothing.

     So there was this whole fiasco about yoga pants and I keep thinking about condemnation, so I look it up. You know what the first verse is that pops up in my study?

“For GOD sent not His Son to the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”

– John 3:17

      Sin condemns us. The Word of God says that the wages of sin – the reward of sin – is death. We are condemned already (John 3:18) and God looks down and He reaches out –

– and this next part is the crucial part you can’t miss –

       God looks down and He reaches out and He calls us out of the condemnation of sin into the commission of righteousness.

      Jesus looked at the adulteress and said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) This is where Jen Hatmaker says, “Jesus has the moral authority to condemn, and he doesn’t.” Jesus was the only one who COULD throw a stone and instead He extended mercy.

      This isn’t about yoga pants or making your own clothes or whether or not you have a garden or homeschooling or whether or not you vaccinate or you fill in the blank.

       This is about stopping ourselves and asking the question, Am I calling others to a commission of righteousness?

       We are disgusted with a Christianity that calls people to nothing and in our reaction we have fallen into the ditch on the other side of the road that calls people to ourselves.

        May God forgive us. It’s not about us. If that has become our comradery with others (they are just like us), our sense of mission, purpose or vision(if they would only see it this way), or our religion (my way or the highway), we are guilty of distorting the Truth and have become preachers of ourselves.

        I am guilty of bearing condemnation rather than Good News. I have been the one to look at the lady with the coat covered in cat-hair with disgust. I have been the one to roll my eyes at the dude who stumbles from walking on his own pants. I am guilty of judging the woman who snaps meanly at her child.

        When did I forget that my righteousness is as filthy rags? When did I forget that the only thing worthy I have to offer and give – is Jesus? When did I start thinking that the treasure in jars of clay was something to be proud of, rather than to be grateful for, as if it has anything to do with me? The all-surpassing power that we have in our jar of clay, is from God, not from us.

          How can I condemn, when the very Gospel that has delivered me, only compels?

          This is not a Gospel watered-down and confused with the ideologies and opinions of myself.

          This is a Gospel of salvation and redemption that far surpasses the conjecture of humanity.

           There are many ways to spend a life. How you spend yours is up to you. Just remember –

           you only have one life.

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And JESUS said,

“For GOD sent not His Son to the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”

– John 3:17

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

– John 14:6

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