I heard an interesting song not too long ago. It was a song by Brad Paisley called Those Crazy Christians. It was interesting because in it Paisley talks about how different the Christian community is and that they are crazy because they go to church, they help others whenever possible, they are ready to forgive others, and they don’t party like others. In essence, he says that they are crazy not in a bad way, but just in the fact that they are so different from the rest of the world. Perhaps this is not always the case, and perhaps it should always be the case. The reality that we must face though is that living the God honoring Christian life will set us far and apart from those around us and make us look crazy compared to the rest of the world.
The Christian life should look different from the non-Christian world, but why is that? This is something of what Paul addresses in 2 Corinthians 5. Paul talks about the fact that when the world looks at us it might think we are crazy. Particularly, here the case is with us forgiving. Forgiving others is probably the most unnatural human attitude, and this is especially the case when people have wronged us. Remember, Paul is talking to the church as a man who was once their greatest enemy and who sought out Christians to persecute, and now is a chief leader in the church. Such an unlikely ascension itself seems crazy, but the church is known as a community of forgiveness and transformation. It is not unlikely that many of Paul’s former companions would have thought that he may have lost his mind and they may have even sought to kill him as well. Here though, we see what the root cause is of this Christian insanity.
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. -2 Co 5:13–15
Paul recognizes his seeming insanity in his actions. Who in their right mind would spend the rest of his life preaching God’s word through shipwreck, imprisonment, beatings, and ultimately death? He must be crazy, but why? Paul says here that “…the love of Christ controls…” him and his companions in the ministry. According to our human nature, it is entirely natural for us to look at someone who would go to such lengths to live for others and to say “they must be completely insane.” This is the case, until we look at the love of Christ. Jesus devotes His life and ministry to others. He is the picture of selflessness which ultimately culminates in the cross with His self-sacrificial death. Paul says here, that when we understand that Christ has selflessly given Himself for us, what seems crazy to our nature is completely justified by the nature of who Jesus was. Jesus did something crazy, but it is this crazy act that redeemed generations after generations and impacted the world as no one ever had or will. When we look at Christ, doing the crazy thing suddenly makes all the sense in the world. It is crazy that Jesus died for us. It is crazy that sinners are redeemed. It is crazy that God showed His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The gospel is crazy and it should make us crazy Christians. It should make us crazy enough to forgive others who don’t ask for forgiveness. It should make us insane enough to love our enemies. It should make us crazy enough to give to someone else in need and go without ourselves. It’s crazy if we look through the world’s eyes, but when we look at these things through Christ’s eyes it makes all the sense in the world.