Growing up my little brother and I were very close and despite a five year age difference we always found something to imagine, pretend, and play together. The most common thing we did together was play “super heroes” which I later discovered says a lot about our personalities. We both have passionate hearts for the underdogs, unwanted, and weak spirited. The difference between Chance and I is how that passion in our hearts pours out. When we were little, my super hero was Super Tommy. He was tough, strong willed, bent the rules, and, of course, had no weaknesses. Chance’s super hero was Super Rascal. He was soft hearted, brave, had integrity, and had one weakness that only the people closest to him knew about. Super Tommy always scoffed at Super Rascal claiming that his tender heart made him weaker, but in the end Super Rascal some how ended up saving Super Tommy from some kind of trouble that his hot temper had gotten him in. As we grew up we stopped playing super heroes and we became our super heroes. I became tough, strong willed, hot headed, and strived for imperviousness. Chance became soft hearted, brave, full of integrity, and honest about his weaknesses with the people closest to him. I often saw his tenderness as weakness, but many times he has saved me from the trouble that my hot temper has gotten me in. We both want to protect the weak and punish the oppressors, but where I come in with aggression he comes in with love. As I am progressing on this journey of grace I find myself getting very angry with the anti-gracers. I am disgusted by their words, turned off by their actions, and infuriated with their teachings. In these moments my super hero complex kicks in and I rush in to save the day… not to comfort the hurting but to punish the hurters. Chance comes in behind me taking care of the broken people that I have passed over in my rush to execute justice. I don’t see Super Rascal as weak any more. If we become so focused on punishing the oppressors that we forsake the oppressed then we miss the whole point of who Jesus was. It’s interesting to me that Jesus rarely answered questions presented to him about the law with actual answers but rather responded with more questions (which I find quite annoying at times!) There is one instance though where he answers with a pretty straightforward answer. A man asks him what is the greatest of the Commandments and Jesus replies, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” What was most important to Jesus? Proving he was right and the religious leaders were wrong? Bring those people to justice? Fighting the continuous battle of law? Love. Just love. I understand why now more than ever. If you have love then all that other stuff falls into place. That’s why it is so important because if you don’t have love you can’t have all that other stuff. You can’t do anything right, be enough, pray enough, read your bible enough, witness enough, tithe enough, or be “Christian” enough. If you have all those things but don’t have love then what are they worth? I continually have to refocus my mind to love the hurting instead of punish the hurters. See, because grace is for the robber and the robbed; the murderer and murdered; the raped and the rapist; the persecuted and the persecutor; the judged and the judgers; the proud and the humble; Hitler and those he killed; grace… is even for those who try to suppress it. That’s the beauty of grace… it makes life not fair.
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