Today's verses remind me of a G.K. Chesterton quote:
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting;
it has been found difficult and not tried.
Below are some of those verses of Christianity that have been found difficult and perhaps have been left untried. Before you read them I encourage you to remember the 6 parts that have come before these verses because they provide the foundation for what comes next. We remembered that we have a God who is on a mission to rescue the nobodies and He knows us and them intimately by name. As a result of His love & His action in our lives we can daily move forward. If God asked us to do the following things based on our own ability we would fail. But the beauty of it is that He hasn't asked us to pull this off on our own. He is leading us, guiding us, walking beside us, yoked with us, and following behind. So being buckled into those truths you may proceed:
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
These verses remind me of why I love Christianity.
- First of all because it is impossible to do these things long-term and consistently without God.
- Secondly, it is not something that is able to walked out from a high and lofty place. You cannot sit in a place of judgement or "I'm better than you" and do these things.
- Third, it strips us to the core of who we are. I had to laugh as I read, "Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath." There are no facades in walking this out.
- Rather, it requires humility and self-sacrifice and often times the way of Christ makes no earthly sense. So these verses land us back at the foot of the cross; fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). Only from that vantage point does any of this make sense.