#20 Comment On This: Lines In The Sand

Administrator’s Note: We here at TTAF are taking a break from blogging for the rest of the year. We feel that it is important that we take some time off to spend with friends and family, and also to relax a bit as the past year has been hectic for all four of us. We cannot thank you enough for reading, commenting on and sharing TTAF. We hope to use this time off to create more posts that we hope you will enjoy. While we are on hiatus we would still love to hear from you via the comments section and also by writing guest posts. We are looking for writers from all backgrounds, yes even women, to contribute to the site and if you are interested please send us an email. We are seeking to create a community experience with this blog and in order to do so we want to hear from you.

In the meantime we will be counting down the top fifty posts (out of 353) from this year. Once we are done with that we will get back to our regular blogging. As you read these posts feel free to share them on any number of social media sites with the buttons found below each post and above the comments section. Have a great holiday season.

-Matt, Drew, Josh, and Curtis-

For the original post click here.

“I used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff” – Bob Goff


Remember that scene in ‘Hook’ where Rufio gets all worked up and decides to draw a line in the sand? At the risk of losing his status as leader of the ‘Lost Boys’ (an honorable distinction), he tells everyone who’s with him to come stand on his side of the line. Then he says that anyone who wants to believe that the old man in trousers and a button-down is in fact Peter Pan, should stand opposite of him on the other side of the line.  Because that’s the way you settle things in Neverland, with a giant line in the sand.

Remember when Jesus drew in the sand? Obviously you weren’t there, but surely you’ve heard about it. A whole crowd of people were clutching rocks, hoping to show a ‘sinner’ in a bed sheet just how screwed up she was. They were hoping to take a stand against sin, to not back down from the beliefs they held so dear. But then there was Jesus. He knelt down and started drawing in the sand. He wasn’t interested in lecturing her about what she’d done, He was interested in accepting her, in loving her. The stones fell as she walked free.

Sometimes I wonder why we’re so interested in drawing lines in the sand. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe God has drawn some lines. There is a right and a wrong, and as Creator he has that prerogative. There are some loving boundaries that he has put around us all to keep us safe. All I’m saying is we should probably leave the drawing to Him.

If He accepts us before we’ve got it all figured out, which *spoiler alert* is never, then the measure of our understanding of who Jesus was should be our ability to do the same. I can love you without agreeing with you – my wife does that for me on a daily basis. But sometimes we take it to another level. We draw lines, like some glorified leader of the ‘Lost Boys’, and say, “You’re good if you are on my side of the line, and bad if you are on the other.” And I think we draw these lines to feel better about ourselves. If we can pick out the things we don’t agree with on the other side of the line, it makes the sand feel a little softer under our own feet. But here’s the thing – we suck at it. You see, when we draw lines in the sand, people tend to feel excluded and unwanted. But when Jesus drew lines in the sand, people felt included and loved. Stones fell and people walked free. Perhaps we’re drawing the wrong kinds of lines.

As much as many Christians want to believe this, Jesus didn’t come here to separate the holy from the unholy. He didn’t come to draw a line in the sand. He knew that all of us had all already stepped over the line. Instead, His life and death drew a giant circle around all of us. Believe it or not, we’re all “lost boys”. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all sinners in need of grace that happens to be free. And I think perhaps an appropriate response to such grace is maybe to stop drawing our own lines. When we hold more tightly to our personal beliefs and opinions being ‘right’ than we do to the character of Christ, we’re missing the point and everyone loses. He didn’t call us to tell people they’re wrong. We’re all wrong. He didn’t call us so much to look down to see where someone stands, he called us to look up into each other’s eyes with love, no matter where someone stands. So maybe drawing lines isn’t the best way to settle things. This isn’t Neverland, after all. Maybe it’s time we started drawing circles instead.

I’m certainly not saying that respectfully expressing personal beliefs is hateful, intolerant, or drawing a line in the sand. But our reactions have the potential to be all three and more. So why do we (as a society) have such a bad taste in our mouth? Maybe it’s time we take a closer look at the stuff we’re consuming, and I’m not talking about chicken. What do you think?


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