Monday, March 25, 2013
"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought..."
(Yeah, read all of it!)
"You are no more nor no less important to God than anyone else. Jesus
lived, died, rose, and reigns no more nor no less for you or them."
She epitomized the challenge before me.
Though I had discerned the oppressing demons within her for several years, the apocalyptic moment had arrived.
A myriad of motives - vainglorious and vulgar - generated ingratiating herself to me by esteeming me at everyone else's expense; except, of course, for her.
Extracting myself from the ego-massaging that felt so good, I said, "You always come in to tell me how great I am and how awful everyone else is compared to us."
Her discomfort with that observation was exacerbated when I continued, "I was thinking that maybe you tell those people how great they are and how awful I am when you're with them."
She turned crimson.
That was many years ago; but that encounter provided a valuable lesson that has stuck since.
People who esteem us and themselves at the expense of others will stab you in the back whenever it suits them.
There's more to it/Him.
"Contempt for a human being is an affront to God almost as grave as
idolatry, for while idolatry is disrespect for God Himself, contempt
is disrespect for the being He made in His own image. Contempt
says of a man, "Raca! This fellow is of no worth. I attach to his
person no value whatsoever." The man guilty of thus appraising
a human being is thoroughly bad" (cf. Matthew 5:21-22).
I'm reminded of what Luther called the gospel in a nutshell.
Just about anyone who has ever hung around a church has memorized it; and if you watch the guy with the funny hair and poster of it behind home plate or in the end zone, you get the feeling that it's really, really, really important.
Go back to the quote from Adamson.
Essentially, it/He means everybody is special to Him.
He lived, died, rose, and reigns for all of the below.
We get it/Him right from the start of praying what we call The Lord's Prayer: "Our Father,...
Not just my Father.
Not just your Father.
Not just their Father.
Now go back and click on the video above.
"Jesus spent a disproportionate amount of time with people described
in the gospels as: the poor, the blind, the lame, the lepers, the
hungry, sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, the persecuted,
the downtrodden, the captives, those possessed by
unclean spirits, all who labor and are heavy
burdened, the rabble who know nothing of
the law, the crowds, the little ones, the
least, the last, and the lost sheep..."
Why shouldn't I look down on some people who are...?
Because Jesus didn't!
Why should I esteem everybody as equal to you, me, and them?
Because Jesus did!
How can I do that?
Jesus: "Love each just as much as I have loved you!...As you do it for them, you do it for Me!"
What if I can't do that?
It means you're not close to Him!
Paul: "It is no longer I who live but it is Jesus who lives in/through me!"
"As Lincoln came to see slavery as more and more of an evil,
he also came to a greater relationship with God."
Michael Allen and Larry Schweikart
Blessings and Love!