Lessons From The Life Of Jacob
God loves us, and we should love each other. There is only one problem with God – he is so unreasonable! He doesn’t just love people who love him. He loves people who despise him; people who curse him; people who drag his name through the mud and blame him for every unpleasant thing that happens in their lives, while never giving him a passing thought for their blessings. God loves people who spit right in his face. He loves, and so must we.
An unreasonable request? Sure. But we follow a Saviour who stepped way beyond what was reasonable when he hung on the cross at Calvary. And let’s settle it once and for all: following Christ is never the easy option and rarely follows a safe, comfortable road.
Sadly, Our Society Is Obsessed with its rights
Sadly, our society is obsessed with its rights and this can affect the Church. But dead men have no rights, and believers are dead in Christ. We have died in him and we have been resurrected into a new life where there is only one rule: give, give and give again. And when you have been hurt, abused and despised, count it all joy and give yet again.
Unreasonable? Frankly, by this world’s standards, it is off the wall. But Christians do not follow this world’s standards. We are called to something greater. But this love does not lead us into some blind fantasy realm. Crime is wrong, and criminals must be hunted down and punished. In fact, the Bible clearly supports much more severe treatment than our courts mete out today. Nor do we have to pursue people who reject and despise the gospel. Some are to be considered as pigs or dogs spiritually – although Jesus seemed to apply this rule to those that we might be most likely to fawn over – take King Herod for example.
No Place For Animosity or Criticism
And the distinction is not simply made at the door of the Church, either. The Apostle Paul is clear: we must refuse even to eat with a Church member who causes division among the brothers.
So where does this leaves us? Clearly there are occasions to deal severely with a troublemaker, but there is never a justification for the animosity, backbiting and criticism that is too often found in the body of Christ. When you have been abused, misunderstood and despised there can be only one Christian response – give yourself again.
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