I remember as a child putting on my mom’s glasses. I inched around the room, feeling with my hands to make up for what was blurry with my eyes. Could you imagine if my mom insisted on me wearing those glasses for the rest of the day? How burdensome! How much that would have impeded the very thing glasses were made for — clear vision.
In Acts 15, we see Paul push back against his fellow Jews who insisted that Gentiles must also “wear” a Jewish lens. Namely, they were insisting the Gentiles be circumcised before following Jesus. Paul shared that the true stumbling blocks to following Jesus were not technicalities and laws, but evils such as sexual immorality and idol worship among others.
We often put prerequisites on others before they may be included in our particular bubble of Christianity. All the while, we blindly look past our own barriers to deeper faith. When we care more about the rightness of our religion over holding Jesus as its centerpiece, we create stumbling blocks for both ourselves and others. This week we are being challenged to honestly face our own spiritual roadblocks while welcoming others into the Gospel life without abandon.
What are the spoken and unspoken weights I place on others in order that they be “included” in my version of Christianity?