Humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another, disapprove of one another, run one another’s lives, confess one another’s sins, intensify one another’s sufferings, point out one another’s failings . . . .
In a soft environment, where we settle for a false peace with present evils, we turn on one another. In a realistic environment, where we are suffering to advance the gospel, our thoughts turn to how we can stick up for one another.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
A guy named Ray Ortlund wrote these words on his blog and I stumbled across them this morning. I was supposed to be going for a walk, but began finding things that kept me from leaving the house..His post is called one-anothers-I-can't-find-in-the-New-Testament and it is at the Gospel Coalition.
Conviction hit me pretty hard after I read those words. If I line up how I behave towards others, next to how Jesus treated others and what He said(commanded in John 14--the "love others as I have loved you" command) do I fall short? Do you??
Blogs can be used as a subtle weapon of sorts. Facebook can too. If you realize who is reading your posts, you can assimilate certain comments and hope to "zap" them. You know, set them straight. Or maybe help them "see the light"--your light, your perspective, your way. I have not only done this, but I have read it time and time and morbid time again, and it is ugly!!
Look at the picture--
We are not being fed to lions anymore.(thank goodness!) We are not suffering like the dear saints being torn to bits in the above pic.*
We inflict suffering on one another. We scrutinize, pressure, embarrass, corner, interrupt, defeat, disapprove, run one anothers lives, confess one another's sins and point out one another's failings...and we seem to do it more regularly than loving "one another as I have loved you."
Sadly enough, we justify our actions and our malicious words by our circumstances, as if they hold credence above God's Word and Jesus command in John. If anyone, anyone, had reason to hold circumstance up and say, "Hey, can I have a little respect here??" it was Jesus. Instead He used the circumstance of His betrayal, death, and resurrection to glorify God and love others..
If you haven't figured it out, I am using this post to speak of myself. No one else.
"Love as I have loved you ," Jesus said, on the night he was betrayed- -before he willingly went to the cross.
He did not say, "Guys, I am really anticipating some heavy duty suffering tomorrow, could you wash MY feet for once?"
He did not say to Judas, "Hey man, you really, truly disappoint Me!! How could you--after all I've done for you??!!"
Lastly, when He is hanging on the cross, He utters those word that STILL give me goosebumps on my flesh,
"Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.."
Honestly, I cannot comprehend that kind of love...I am glad for it and grateful, but to lay down my life for vile, wicked, ungrateful, law breaking people?? Nope. Not doing it. My kids, in a heart beat. My husband, in the blink of an eye..my extended and immediate family, yes, yes and yes. A few dear friends, absolutely. But the horde? The masses? People I don't even know??
Yet, that is the kind of love we are called to model: Sacrificial. Absorbent. Covering. Costly. Radical.
Now I am going for my walk--God and I have much to discuss..I have much growing to do...and much praying to accomplish..please God, change my heart! Make me like You!! Let me love others as You have loved me..
God, You are faithful,
*In other countries however, Christians are being killed for their faith in Jesus Christ!!