I came here to write an article about “50 Shades of Grey.”
I planned to express my anger over the violation of Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday about love, and the Feb. 14 release date gave the impression that this would be a love story. Spoiler alert: It’s not.
I planned to explain that Christian Grey is an abusive, masochistic sociopath.
I planned to urge you to stay away, to not spend your hard-earned $11 on this abhorrent story.
But, all the things I was going to tell you are things you already know. The articles have stacked up on every Facebook user’s newsfeed and it’s pretty hard to escape from the wave of opinions about “50 Shades,” all on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. You’ve all heard the arguments, and, really, I don’t need to tell Christians at a Christian school that relational abuse and exploitative premarital sex is wrong (I hope).
There is something I want to tell you though. And it’s not necessarily just about this movie. It’s about everything. Ready?
People are watching you.
I mean it. You love Jesus. You have claimed to live a different kind of lifestyle. You have chosen the road less traveled and are trekking alongside other believers, all looking toward Jesus and eternity.
People aren’t simply looking at what we’re watching and reading, however. They’re looking at the way we act. The way we hold our composure and treat others around us. The way we write an article or status, ripping apart the movie they’ve been excited about for months because we believe (maybe subconsciously, maybe not) that we are on some sort of moral high ground and know better than them.
I doubt that anyone sees Jesus in Christians when we act like this. When we condescendingly sneer at our non-believing friends that want to go see that inappropriate movie. When we stop speaking to them because they go to a party or have a drink. When we argue against abortion in an ignorant or pretentious manner. These actions aren’t showing Jesus—in fact, they’re probably convincing people to get farther away from us, and him.
I have a family member who doesn’t know Jesus. She loves “50 Shades,” read the book, and was ecstatic to see the movie. Part of the reason I decided not to write an article condemning the franchise is because I would have posted it on my wall (I usually do with all my stories) and I knew she would read it. I knew it would be another reason for her to say, “Jordin thinks she’s so much better.” I knew it would be another reason for her to dislike Christians and Christianity.
I knew it wouldn’t show the love of Christ.
I didn’t come here to hate on “50 Shades.” I didn’t come here to stand on a pedestal and yell at all my readers.
I came here humbly because I know I make mistakes. I know I don’t share the love of Jesus the way I should. I know have turned people off to the idea of Christianity before.
And I know you have, too.
As a reminder to me and a reminder to you, we can’t be upset when the people around us don’t share our morals. We have Jesus to look to—others don’t. The quality that should be infused in every fiber of our being is neither condemnation nor moral pride.
That’s the way we’re going to bring people to Christ. That’s the way we are going to turn the problems of the world around. By allowing Jesus to continue to change us from the inside, so that people can see only him on the outside.