Friday, September 16, 2016


From the title, one may get the picture that this post is about Jesus' call to deny the self.  Ah, I knew you to be quick like that!

Day in and day out it is quite usual to find ourselves in conflict.  The war can go on in two fronts; (1) either we are frustrated with others as they seem to ignore our wishes, or (2) we are irritated with ourselves for selfish.  A bad day would be when both (1) and (2) weave their way rather begrudging-like as if one alone would be enough to handle.

So what shall we do?  Such strain has become typical; expected by anyone at any level of society.  How could we go about making effective adjustment?  I think God has spoken with clarity as well as simplicity.  We are to take up our crosses and move through life as he did.

From the cross, Jesus covered the sins of others.  Isn't this why we carry crosses?  So that we can love offenders as if we have paid their debt and they are free to move on in life?  Would this move make any difference for someone, say, down the hall where your work...or maybe for one who sits at your kitchen table?

From the cross, we survey those who are desperate for rescue for apparently none of their self-efforts hold water.  This is our all of life; die for those who oppose.

So what are we to do when someone at church gets under our skin?  We are to realize they may be a source of frustration, not because they need to mature; but because we need to grow up.  A lot of childishness goes on in the kingdom of hurt feelings.  But what we find in the cross is injury, deeper hurt, but with definitive, practical meaning.

Offenders don't need our correction first.  They need our love by our own death.  They need someone to pay the price that they know for certain they owe.  List those who have deeply hurt you over the years.  Apologies are what are expected.  Yet, in the Kingdom of God, this isn't the case at all.  Your dying for them, absorbing their senseless injuries toward you, is the call of the Savior that we keep the cross in continuum.  Now there is a pattern worth pushing.

People can't get well (wrong, evil, silly, foolish people) because they have found that Christians go to church fairly regularly; but what they need is our forgiveness because there is no way that these could pay back the debt.  Our job is to die....knowing with assurance that hundreds are dying simultaneously for us due to our own ignorant defiance for we, too, offend, hurt, and injure.

Die for those who oppose you as there are man who die for you...for me.  This will, indeed, become a new creation of community.

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