Do you know that game? The one where darts are thrown at a board. The circle in the center of the board is called the Bull’s eye. The key to this game is FOCUS. Focus requires two things: your mind and your muscle power.
Now, let us look at our practice of the Christian religion. How do we portray it to others? What exactly is our target? Are you practicing religion, to make heaven and escape hell, or to know why Jesus died for us? Could we see Christianity as a target with several concentric circles ringing around more circles till the final most important one, the Bull’s eye? What could those concentric circles mean?
Maybe those circles are for the 10 commandments, the Laws of Moses. In the Old Testament, sins were atoned for by the offering of sacrifices, some were punishable by death. All of these Laws were put in place for everyone to obey and to serve as judgment templates for erring people (the sinners). At the centre of these concentric circles of laws or commandments is the Law of Love. The Law of Love is the bull’s eye, the symbol of the greatest sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
A lot of us Christians and even non-Christians still hit our target at the circles below the bull’s eye. We jude others, judge even ourselves, wearing veils of guilt and eagerly casting guilt and blame on others. Sometimes we form minute societies and cliques where we set rules and force people to live up to OUR STANDARDS instead of introducing people lovingly and gradually to the knowledge of the mercy and Love of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Some of us behave as if we not only have stamped gate passes to Heaven, but also have the keys to Heaven in our pockets on a fancy key-ring. After we believe we are saved, do we become so self-entitled and seat ourselves on a throne to judge others. A Christian is at risk of missing the bull’s eye of the target of Christianity if he or she loses FOCUS while judging others and being too concerned with the cares of this world.
If a person has been missing the bull’s eye, the essence of being a follower of Christ, maybe he or she could retrace his or her steps to how they came about Jesus Christ and the Christian religion. Some important questions could be, “Were you born into a Christian home?” ”Did you discover Jesus as a child or as an adult?” “Has Jesus done anything for you?” “What does Jesus mean to you?” From these questions we may be able to decide whether we are living under the Laws of Moses or we are right on the mark, the bull’s eye.
Sadly the common place Christianity of today sees a lot of people living and judging themselves and judging others in those concentric circles below the Law of Love. Some Christians can’t believe or accept that Jesus can and has washed their sins away, neither can they stop judging others’ sins. To be focused requires a decision from the heart to look steadily on a primary aim and will the body to work towards achieving the aims. To hit the bull’s eye requires concentrated energy. As a Christian chasing after God’s heart, it is best to aim high, live beyond the laws of Moses, for he who is in Christ is beyond the reproach of the law.
There are some religions out there whose followers threaten physical harm and murder upon those who they wish to convert to their religion. They force people to adopt their ideologies at the end of the day there is no understanding on the side of the enforcers nor the enslaved. GOD our Father did not put us on Earth without a purpose, therefore, what is life or religion without Love or Understanding.
As Christians do we make people who are not in Christ feel like we are forcing them to be religious Christians to give them a sense of belonging, job opportunities, etc. Does the great sacrifice of JESUS reflect a light in our lives that draws people to want to know Him because of our lives? True, there are no Christians known right now to be forcing people to accept JESUS or be killed, but there are subtle and more dangerous ways of killing the spirits of others by judging and being unkind.
Let us remember the greatest law which JESUS asked us to fulfill which is to Love. Let us love ourselves, our neighbours and hard as it may be, even our enemies for that is the accurate mark on the target of being a true follower of Christ.
– Adetutu Alatishe