The Response Juxtaposition
Over the last few weeks, I have had an inner dialogue going in my head. (That’s a nice way to say I have been talking to myself, a lot). It’s a juxtaposition that I have been trying to get to the bottom of. And the question is simple. But the outcome is great.
And let me preface this- this is my inner dialogue. I am not accusing anyone or placing blame. This outcome is from my heart only because I have wrestled with the texts.
But I think most of us need to answer this all-important question too.
In the face of the racism, homosexual conversation, and tension between Christians and Non-Christians, what does my response say about my faith?
I have been dwelling on two different times that Jesus spoke. Both monumental, and both convicting for my heart and how I respond in life.
Through all of life- but especially now in the season of this country we are in- how do we respond as Christians?
I can tell you based on social media how people have responded. And tbh, it feels wrong. It feels combative, angry, divisive, and hurtful. Truth without love fails. Another way to say it- no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
So I looked at how Jesus responded to the his country “falling away from God.” The moment where they had rebelled so much from God that they were moments away from murdering Gods son. The implications of their decision were huge. And his response was so loud it was deafening.
And I also looked at Jesus response to those who were supposed to be representing Him-those who should be a reflection of the Kingdom. And it was like being in the room with your best friend when he was getting yelled at by his parents in middle school- embarrassing.
So, does our response sound like Jesus? Or, do we as Christians need to be reminded of who is on the throne? (Spoiler alert- it’s not us or even America.)
Please remember, I am not advocating for any one issue or circumstance. What I am advocating for is repentance in our response to the different issues we will face in our lifetime.
Here are the two verses. Wrestle with them. Read them over and over. Don’t rush to conclusions or make excuses. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom (he’s good at that).
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
Have I forgotten mercy? Have I forgotten love in my response?
Am I only getting half the equation right? Truth- Check. Love- Uh oh.
Do I stink of self-righteousness or have the magnetic chemistry of Jesus.
Wrestle away. For me, I think I need to take a bath.