The Bible is filled with the encouraging love of God but it is also filled with tough scriptures that speak into our lives and into our culture and makes us stop and think for a second and say that can’t be right. Somewhere in our reading and in our lives we have heard something that does not line up in scripture. Some of the messages that we have heard are actually misquotes of the Bible and when we are confronted with them in scripture you may almost think that the scripture must be wrong because we have been ingrained with the false message.
This past week, Nov. 23, 2014, we looked at two passages that can cause us to struggle with our perceptions. Luke 6:27-36 challenges us to think about what is really important in this life. Jesus challenges His listeners to deal with their values, is it their stuff, what if it is stolen, is it power and money, what happens if it is lent out and not paid back, what about your health and security, what if it is taken away? Jesus challenges us to be more like Himself. Are we willing to find our value and importance in God, find our security in God even while we are in danger, see the value that God has placed in other people, even those people that hurt others. What kind of kindness can you show someone who is trying to take something from you, if instead of making them a thief, you made the stolen stuff a gift. Les Miserables demonstrates the power of this and how it changed Valjeans life, a theft was turned into a gift, a victim chose to be a giver, a sinner was transformed into a person with life and value.
This leads to the Romans passage that reminds us not to judge unless we want to be judged. Are we willing to see God’s kindness and patience, to see through the sins, as God has looked deeper into our souls and sees more than just a mere sinner, and see a person that Jesus died for. Allow God to be the judge and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you, being an example of God’s kindness and love. This isn’t ignoring sin, it is not about being naive, it is about confronting the sin, and loving the person. It is about seeking Jesus to be alive in you and in the other people and in the situation. When Jesus is present none of us are going to be the same.