Joseph, the man who raised Jesus, doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He isn’t mentioned much in the Bible, but his understanding of Scripture allowed him to be greatly used by God. He helped bring Jesus into the world which many Christians today are failing to do.
Joseph is seen as a man having visions of angels who prompt him where to go and what to do next concerning his family. These actions were to be a fulfillment of the Prophesies concerning the Messiah. Non-believers, I know how crazy this might sound, but, in all honesty, it’s not hard to believe that Joseph knew what he was supposed to do.
See, like Saul, Joseph knew Scripture. He didn’t need visions or angels because he knew the Word so well that, when it was time for him to be used by God, he was fully equipped to do so! Joseph and Saul couldn’t have been less alike in how they used their knowledge. Saul sought his own agenda and attached God’s Word to it. Joseph sought the will of God for his own life and applied the Word to make it happen.
Joseph’s understanding of Scripture was a gift and every Christian is supposed to have one. And, because God loves variety, not every Christian is going to have the same gift. When someone like Joseph uses their gift to benefit others, people thrive. When we spend more time worrying about other people’s gifts rather than our own, people suffer – much like they did under Saul who was too busy caring about the disciples and what they were teaching rather than what he was supposed to be doing. We can even be guilty of trying to discredit somebody else’s gift. I’ve heard many self-proclaimed Christians call other self-proclaimed Christians ‘false-prophets’ just because they have a different interpretation of Scripture than they do. Those people essentially think that they’re right and if your line of thought is different than theirs then you are wrong.
I find it amazing how much Christians disagree on. For the most part we should be able to agree about most things. But after Jesus being the Son of God Who died for our sins it’s hard for us to agree about much else. What’s worse is we’ve formed so many different denominations to further our own versions of the truth rather than unite together to understand God’s truth.
Isn’t it odd how Christians can treat other Christians? Not only have we been found guilty of treating non-believers like garbage, we’re found guilty of treating each other like garbage too! We even do it publicly, online, for the whole world to see so how is anyone, anywhere, supposed to take us seriously?
I would love for non-believers to see us better united. I would love for everyone to see Christians out there doing something about the world’s problems. I’ve said before that I know there are many Christians who are doing this. But instead of their good being magnified we magnify our anger and hostilities towards each other by posting things online we shouldn’t be posting.
So why are there fewer Josephs? We probably have more and better access to Scripture than he did, but he had a witness and an ability to be used by God and all we have is a bad name and reputation that we deserve by our religious attitude and behavior towards others. What did he do differently than what we’re doing? What qualified Joseph and why aren’t Christians today as qualified to represent Christ?
For us it all goes back to the Bible. So much of what Christianity has become contradicts what the Bible actually tells us to do. We’ve become so much like Saul because we’re too busy arguing with other people – even with other Christians – and we spend our time butting into discussions to give our opinions even if they weren’t asked for. Too many people only care about what they think and not about what God actually says.
Our walk and our talk should better match. I think when Christians are the biggest disappointments are when non-believers know what the Bible says we should be doing and we’re not doing that. We need to show people that what we preach is true. We can’t just tell them; they won’t believe it unless they see it for themselves. We give validity to what we are saying when our walk matches our talk. It’s sad how little we resemble the way Christianity used to be. Christianity is a lifestyle choice. If you call yourself a Christian you should be living a life that matches what the Bible says Christianity is. But too many people have made up their own versions of Christianity to suit their own needs.
Because we’ve stopped agreeing, we’ve created chaos. All Christians should have one thing in common: Jesus. Jesus warned against the dangers of division. But we clearly didn’t listen to Him because we think we know better and we like doing our thing instead. I only want to show the world what He has done for me, and that my encounter with Him has produced a real change in my life. My belief in Him has influenced me to write this blog. My knowledge of Scripture has allowed me to present to you an accurate representation of what Jesus would have me and other Christians do.
I’m very much aware that Atheists and people of other religions are reading this and I respect your beliefs and your ability to think for yourself. What Christians haven’t been deserving of lately is respect. My only hope in you reading this is to see more Pauls and Josephs and recognize they’re the ones who better reflect what our religion stands for. I hope I’ve better equipped you to see the difference between someone being used by God to carry out what the Bible says needs to be done and someone who can’t be used by God because they don’t know enough of the Word to be ready when God calls them to represent.
Christians, can we do better to agree? Can we stop arguing publicly about every tiny, mundane detail? You will never meet anyone who agrees with exactly everything you do, but we can still coexist and get along. At the very least all I’m asking is that we do more agreeing to disagree without butting heads all the time. At most I’m asking that we start apologizing for our bad behavior and do more to make amends.