Okay. I hope you know that the title is rather sarcastic.
I feel like the Black Eye Pea lyrics can be taken from a 1st grade “write about your day” class. But that’s besides the point.
But seriously. Where is the love when it comes to us Christians?
I recently wrapped up the book of Romans for my devotions, and this time around, the parts that were embedded in my head comes from the latter half of chapter 12 and the latter half of chapter 13.
And, I ask the question “Where is the love” in my life and to me, first and foremost. There are areas where I need to work on. I’m still a working process. I know that this jar of clay often resists being molded by the Hands of the Creator. I know that I often turn a blind eye towards what God is showing me. And I often argue with God about who I am to love.
With that said, I think anyone who claims to be of Christ… we all need to just take a step back and reevaluate our hearts, our lives and our actions.
There’s too much disagreement. And not many cordial ones, but disagreements that goes beyond resembling anything like love. Disagreements that lead to fisticuffs or condemnation.
And we have lost our way, when non-Christian see us and the last thing they see is love.
Here’s what have been sticking in my heart from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Hmm. But sometimes, I want others to be devoted more to me in love and to honor me over themselves…
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Ah. Have you notice that there is no qualification to the people who are in need? What bothers me is when we have prerequisites before helping someone. “Are they Christian?” “Are they going to come to our church every week?” “Are they willing to be baptized before we do this for them?” Etc. No. It simply says share with God’s people. And who are God’s people? Anyone and everyone. And yes. That includes gay people. And yes, that includes (shock) Muslims, even the extremists. Yes, that includes people of the Westboro Baptist Church. That includes illegal immigrants and day laborers. I mean, God’s people is everyone. But yet, we try to put boundaries on where boundaries shouldn’t exist.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse
Don’t we find it easier to just curse. And condemn.It’s easier to label someone a heretic, rather than trying to listen to their hearts and their stories. I’m willing to bet we have more in common with people than we’d like. If only we gave each other a chance…
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
I like that verse because Paul left a HUGE loop hole. “If possible” and “as far as it depends on you”… We can say that we are trying, without really trying at all. Because it all depends on me to live at peace…
Love does no harm to its neighbor
Wesley’s first general rule is “Do No Harm.”
I’m embarrassed to admit (even think about) all the harm I may have caused. Even if it was unintentional.
I always get a chuckle when someone comes up to me complaining that Christianity is hard. (And am always surprised too).
Where have we (as leaders and pastors) gone wrong in leading people to think about Christianity?
Those few verses I just recited, there is nothing easy about following those simple verses in of itself.
I think the thing that gets me the most especially about myself and my fellow sisters and brothers is that we don’t try.
We know. We see the path that we are to take. We see how hard it’s going to be. And we see how easy it is to not go down that way. And so, we say that we’re Christians, but we take the easier path. We say with our words, but not so much with our actions.
My wife’s been beating me up about this. Well actually, she said one comment that just stung (and it needed to).
I want to try. I want to try to be a better Christian. I want to try to be a better pastor. I want to try to be a better son, husband, brother, friend… person.
But, as the wise Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
So here’s to me, stumbling along doing, and not just trying.
Here’s to all the failures I’ll run across in doing and not just thinking about trying.
But here’s to God, whose grace continues to surround me; continues to push me; continues to open my eyes and heart to really see and feel; continues to change me.
And here’s to the most absolute truth I can say, that no one can disagree with. God is so worth it.
Excuse me while I get rid of all the excuses that have filled my heart…