Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Dear Christian,

I’ve wanted to write this letter for a long time, but I wasn’t sure it would do any good. Like you, I’m on my own journey.

I’ve been frustrated because it feels like you don’t listen to me. Do you really care what I think or feel? I know there has to be more to life, but everywhere I turn there’s another roadblock. I’m struggling at work. The bills keep piling up. My kids are hanging with the wrong crowd, and my mom just got diagnosed with cancer.

I’m looking for empathy, not spiritual answers.

You talk about truth and the Bible in such a way that seems like you’re shoving your opinion down my throat. I often feel judged by you because I don’t understand your thinking. You have a different perspective that sounds so foreign. I doubt I could ever measure up to your standards.

I just want to be happy. I’m not searching for some lofty hope or someone’s view of truth.

To be honest, your religion seems to make you angry all the time. It’s a real downer when you point out everything you find to be wrong in this world. You seem so against everything, it’s hard to believe you could really have my best interest in mind. Your complaints don’t exactly inspire me to become a Christian like you.

Before you talk to me about my spiritual needs, I want to know you care for me.

Life is tough. I feel empty and lonely. I’ve been put down and excluded. When I’m struggling, and you say, “Jesus is the answer,” your words ring hollow. I don’t want to be around people who are always judging me or trying to set me straight.

What I really want to know is if you care about me as a human. I need real friends who stand by me when I’m alone, afraid, or hurt. If you want to influence me, just act like a friend.

Sincerely,


Your neighbor

APPLICATION: How would you respond to this letter? Please leave a comment below.


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Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 40 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring others through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, reading, and ball hockey. I'm a fan of the Esks, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

7 Comments

  • Brian Glover says:

    Hi Anne,

    Your words are spot on the money. Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to feel, feel the way you do and embrace it. Cry when you feel like it. It’s not wrong or a bad time. It’s your time and that’s all that matters. I am going through my last season in my life and I wake up every morning giving Thanks to God for another day here on Earth to be with my family. To me that is all that matters in my life. No election results no agendas. No top news stories. Just my family. Which tears me apart because my parents have to move back to Ontario today because I cannot look after them anymore. All of the family I have left is in Ontario including my eldest son. Great!

  • Bob Jones says:

    Thank you for your response, Brian. You’ve got your priority settled. Family. Not elections or news or stuff that changes everyday. Grace and peace to you in your season of life.

  • Well written and, unfortunately, all too true of so many of us. I thank God and my wife as they are slowly transforming me from my former narcissism into a more humble and compassionate person. I still have a long road before I can ever be like Christ, but by the Grace of God, and some good pastors along the way, I expect to get there where I put God and my neighbours first no matter the expense.

  • Sharon Sincalir says:

    “An Open Letter to Christians” is an excellent reminder of being careful how you act and what you say around others who are non believers. We are representing all Christians not just ourselves when we speak and act. I am always conscious of that and want my non believer friends to eventually come to Christ because of my faith and all that it represents through my words and actions. I try to be a friend to everyone with no judgement and treat my non believer friends the same way I treat my Christian friends. I know that my non believer friends could come to Christ next week, next month or next year and I don’t want to mess that up by complaining or being negative. It’s my responsibility as a Christian to act and speak the way Jesus would want me to with love and compassion for everyone, non believers and Christians alike. As a Christian I pray each day for guidance in how to be a good friend to those who really need one and treat others the way I would want to be treated myself.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Well said, Sharon!

  • Bob Jones says:

    You are an intentional man and purposeful in what you do. When love is the motivation – as it is with you, Gary – God brings about gracious outcomes in the lives of others.

  • Rob Cheshire says:

    Dear Neighbour: I am sure I’ve been ALL those things you say in Your Letter….But, Please remember I’m human too. I did Not become a Christian because I thought I was ‘Good’, I KNEW I wasn’t….I KNOW God Loves Me, therefore He Loves Everyone else the same, and that INCLUDES YOU. In my clumsiness, stupidity, and learning I have probably NOT Exemplified the best of Christianity, or Christ. Please Forgive Me…I want You To Know Him Too. Sometimes I speak, before I think. I Act, before I Pray. I Am Attempting to Let Jesus shape me, and mold me into likeness more like His own…

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