Oh, Paul. You've written a lot of hard words. Words that I don't like. Words that cause a lot of confusion and disagreements among the people you wished to unite-1 Timothy 2, Titus,Ephesian 5.
I know you didn't mean to. But you did.
I read this article by Sarah Bessey, and I was so relieved to find out I wasn't the only one to think these things.
We take the bible literally and black and white. But I wonder....
Jesus never spoke in literal terms. In fact he always spoke in parables. His words made the disciples head spin from confusion in trying to figure out exactly what He meant.
"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3
Quite honestly, it still does the same for us.
The World Vision debacle a few weeks back made me sad...and mad. Sad that the corporation didn't realize what they were doing when they made such bold changes to their policies about their hiring, thus causing thousands of children to lose their funding. And sad/mad for the christians that pledged to sponsor these children and dropped them like a hot potato to state a point.
Since when did children's lives become disposable in order to make a point?
Oh, how we must grieve Jesus. We take his words and pluck, and twist, and use for our own self gain and self-righteousness.
What makes us any different than the Pharisees?
Old Testament claimed the Good News of a savior that was going to destroy his enemies, make footstools out of them. He was going to save and redeem his people.
Naturally the Jews were waiting and expecting another David, a warrior, a fighter, a hero.
And what they got instead was Jesus.
Who was this man that wanted peace and love? Where was the judgement and condemnation they were hoping he'd bring?
There was something different about Him.
He was different.
He was not who they were looking for.
He was a man that didn't fight, but instead he taught and loved and ultimately died. He did these things and they didn't understand.
They didn't understand because the thing they needed saving from was themselves.
He knew how hard it would be to love, how hard it's always been and will continue to be until He returns.
He knew how we, his people, would continue to fight amongst ourselves. How verses in the bible would trip us up, make us question and wonder who's really right in their versions and translations.
Love when we're angry.
Love when we're hurt and confused.
Love so that outsiders can see we disagree but yet still LOVE each other at the same time.
It's all we have when our words, sides, and viewpoints fail us.
Love is hard and beautiful.
The Bible says a "Tree is recognized by it's fruit," that we are known to be God's by how well we love.
Today, let's choose LOVE every time we get the chance.
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him." Matthew 11:35,35
Linking up with #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose, Three Word Wed, Winsome Wed, and Thought-Provoking Thursday