The first time I saw this symbol was a few years ago on the bumper sticker of a car driving down the highway. My initial reaction to seeing it was, “Coexist? Oh Lord. Here’s yet another excuse for people to not commit to Christ. To just exist while accepting everyone else’s beliefs and points of view. Why?” Well, today I see the symbol differently.
I am just arriving back home after spending a week in the home of my brother and his wife in Atlanta, GA. It was an awesome time of family, rest, relaxation, deep conversations, and fun that quite frankly, I hated to see come to an end. Oh, I forgot to mention, my Sister-In-Law is a Muslim…
My brother does not consider himself religious at this point in his life. Daily I pray that he will have revival in his spirit and that He would rededicate his life to Christ, but as of right now, it is what it is. He has never been a follower so him becoming a Muslim b/c his wife is a Muslim was not at the forefront of my mind. I know that whatever path my brother chooses for his life will be b/c it is what He feels is best for him…whether I, his wife, or anyone else agrees with it or not. At the end of the day, I love my brother unconditionally…regardless of his personal choices. I also love my sister-in-law very much. She is a fun-loving, family-oriented, intelligent woman, who loves my brother with all her heart!
While I was in their home, I was able to speak to them about the goodness of Christ. I read my Bible without feeling persecuted. I even watched the Christian movie, “Left Behind” on their 50-inch flat-screen TV. In the same token, my sister-in-law talked about her faith. She showed me some of the newest Islamic clothing items she bought to wear to classes at the mosque. She also spoke about her desire to start dressing more modestly outside of the mosque…in her everyday life. We are both very passionate about our beliefs but are still able to love and respect one another and COEXIST.
Dictionary.com defines COEXIST as follows: To exist together or at
the same time; separately or independently but peaceably,
often while disagreeing.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) states: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give
an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this
with gentleness and respect
Of course, I want everyone I love to bow down to the sovereignty of the only one, true, LIVING God…JESUS CHRIST. But as Claire stated in her post on Monday, the road is narrow. As Christians, we believe what the Bible says, that not all will see the Kingdom of heaven. This doesn’t only apply to people who proclaim different faiths than us, but also luke-warm Christians. It is not our job to convert people. Only God can do that. It is our job to love one another as Christ loves us, live BOLDLY for Jesus, and PRAY for God’s will to be done. We must be willing to accept the reality that allowing our light to shine is not an assurance that the people who it shines on will always become Christians.
This picture of my sister-in-law, her mother (Mrs. Muhammed), my mom, and my brother is the perfect conclusion to my post today. Mrs. Muhammed is wearing her Islamic-based hair cover while my mother is lovingly beside her in her Christian-based “Saved & Fly” shirt.
I think that we have an innate ability to show love to people who are like us. The challenge arrives when we have to show love to someone who believes something different than we do. To coexist does not mean to conform your values and beliefs…at least, that’s not what it means to me.
In closing, God created this earth. He inhabited it with people. Our time here is but a vapor…over in the blink of an eye so we shouldn’t spend it hating one another. We also have to remember that questionable actions from one group does not define an entire people. Muslims extremists flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings. KuKluxKlan proclaimed Christianity as they brutalized and killed Blacks for many years. My sister-in-law and her family are Muslims…not terrorists.
I am a Christian. I stand firm on my faith and will NEVER deny Christ. Jesus is Lord and I COEXIST b/c I love Him. Stay grounded in your word and don’t allow Coexisting to become an excuse for you to become wishy-washy. Be bold and fabulous for God at all times.
* Wednesdays w/ iNDIGO
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