First of all--why can't we get it through our heads who we really are?
Why can't we get it through our heads that each one of us is a child of God, and that He created us for a purpose? We are meant to be Christ-like.
We have something to do here on earth, something like Jesus did. We are not here to puff ourselves up, or to grab all we can before someone else does.
We are here for such a short time, but in that time we can make a real difference by how we live our lives. That difference can be a benefit or a hindrance to our fellow human beings. Why would we choose to be a hindrance? Yet many of us do.
Why can't we get it through our heads that we ought to treat others with dignity?
When we interact with another person, and actually see him or her as they are--made in the image and likeness of God, the same God who created us--how can we cheat them, or physically abuse them, or even kill them? For heaven sake--and I mean that literally--our purpose is to love them!
But secondly--love isn't easy.
Loving someone presents many problems. One of the biggest is that even if we love a person, we don't always love what they do. This is going to be true with parents and children, with spouses, with friends and co-workers. There will be times when we know they're going in a wrong direction. There will be times when we recognize that they are actually sinning, a word that our society often choses to overlook or bypass. Are we to simply ignore this?
It would be foolish for us to ignore or tolerate sin, especially in someone we truly love and care for, because doing so puts them in danger. Sincere loving requires action, and that action is not to bury our heads in the sand because we don't want to rock the boat of our beloved. Would we allow our toddler to continue peddling down a busy highway on a tricycle, or would we run out to snatch them back before they are literally killed? Would we watch our ten year old put a loaded gun in his or her pocket, and then smile as they go out of the door? Would we allow our teenager to pump himself or herself full of drugs just because he or she thinks it's fun? Would we allow our spouse to jump into bed with a co-worker without a word from us?
But confronting sin in those we love (and in ourselves) requires courage. A loving action often requires courage, a compassionate courage to, at the very least, express to our loved one that we believe he/she may be in enemy territory.
If we do not care enough to act, if we do not care enough to attempt to unravel risky behavior in those we love, then we do not truthfully care about them at all.
We simply must have the courage to help those we are meant to love. We cannot be afraid to open our mouths. We are called to love. We are created to love. If we are children of God ourselves--and we are--then we must see that others are our brothers and sisters, and that we are intended to reach out to them in loving ways, without pomposity or self-righteousness. We must see Christ in others, and in turn we must act as Christ would act.
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.--Matthew 9: 9-13
Copyright 2015 Kaye Hinckley.
Image by Clarita, 2006, via Morguefile.com.
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