“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32
I read these words this afternoon when I came back from lunch. I shut my door turned the music down low and spent a little bit of quiet time. After my first post about frames of reference, or whatever you would like to call it, this scripture was convicting to say the least. How often do we in our lives think this way? How often do we focus so much of our energy on reacting to negative things around us? We spend time on many things, and so often we spend our energies on what so and so has done to us. Living in a nearly perpetual victim mentality.
Jesus was a radical, do not let yourself be fooled by our having contained him to the church. But one of the most sure things for me about Jesus’ ministry is the fact that he was real, he was ultimately authentic. In this same chapter in the Gospel according to Luke we see Jesus being accused and despised by the leaders of the synagogue. The leaders are watching Jesus, it says that they are watching so they could accuse him. One of the advantages that Jesus had was that he knew what they were thinking , he knew their hearts and their motives.
We often spend most of our time with those who are easy to love, and not nearly enough time with people who are not easy to love. There are growing edges for us all, and for many of us we are not comfortable with any tension at all. We want everything to be perfect, for us and all our friends to be perfectly in sync. Well, this is not the reality, not even close. I spent my last three years learning to live with tension, my classmates and myself did not always agree, but had one thing in common we were passionate. There has been a hijacking of political and religious speech lately where there is no longer dialogue. Whether you are left or right on an issue we cannot even have a conversation because we can never possibly agree, and therefore we cannot even engage in dialogue.
Like I said in “The Opening Volley” I want this to be a conversation, I want to be challenged, but I also want to challenge you. I see in the church today that there is, as Josh Loveless puts in his from Relevant Magazine “Is There a Church Mutiny Afoot” “And relationships formed over a lifetime with a people who are just like you is, honestly, a form of self-worship.” We are separated by age, by political leanings, by any number of other things and we make a group that is self-identified by our own demographics. If we cannot work together to work towards a common goal or future then what are we really doing? How can we cross the boundaries that we often see as unlovable, or dare I say it wrong, to foster a true moving forward? What I want you to think about as you read this, is how do I love the unlovable in our midst?