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When I first started writing my blog I got some good advice from someone who knows about these things. She said “don’t get political.” Boy was she right. It seems that in this particular political climate there is, on both sides of the aisle and in every shade of blue and red, an urgency to be believed to be right. Whatever the issue, there is a lot of talking and very little listening happening, all in an effort to be perceived as the most right.
We as believers are just as caught up in this battle as anyone else. You know this to be true if you have spent more than 2 minutes on social media in the past year. Being right is great. Being right is important. The problem is we get so caught up in our rightness that we want to just sit in our rightness and be right.
As followers of Christ that is NOT our calling.
I am afraid that we have become like the Church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation where Jesus says “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people…Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:2&4). God sees their good deeds, he sees that they are right in their assessment of people who do wrong, but that isn’t good enough. In their pursuit of rightness they lost their love for people.
They started off loving people well. In Ephesians 1:15-16 Paul praises the Ephesians for their deep faith and their love for God’s people. Paul knows how powerful their lives can be as they live in that love and grow in their faith and knowledge of God. But somewhere between Ephesians and Revelation something got lost. Their focus changed. They were so busy determining who was right and wrong that they forgot about loving - loving even those who are wrong.
In 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter, verses 4-7, there is a list of things that love is and that love is not, what love does and what it does not do. I have read this list many, many times, but today I read it in the NIV and where most versions say “it is not rude” the NIV says “It does not dishonor others” Wow! I have heard a lot of dishonor flying around lately. I’m not talking about disagreement, I’m talking about dishonor. People - created in God’s image, yet wallowing in their own sin, but loved enough by God to send his son to be executed in an excruciating manner in order to redeem them from their sinfulness - those people, all people are deserving of respect. Right or wrong they are loved by God. Right or wrong we are called to love them.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says that if I use my spiritual gifting, my talents, or my generosity with motives other than love then I am just adding to the noise. I pray that I would never be that loveless, useless resounding gong or clanging cymbal. The world is noisy enough.
Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2016