“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
God is patient
God is kind
God does not envy
God foes not boast
God is not proud
God does not dishonor others
God is not self seeking
God is not easily angered
God keeps no record of wrongs
God does not delight in evil
God always protects
God always hopes
God always perseveres
God never fails
What a different picture painted by the scriptures than the ones talked about in our churches. The bible says “truly I tell you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 18:3 JESUS) Jesus (God incarnate) instructs his listeners to become like children, accepting, trusting, loving in nature. Eager to forgive, keeping no record of being wronged, a reflection of himself.
Some how we’ve taken the purity of the teachings of Jesus and turned them into “new flame” by products sure to be snuffed out by the wet blanket of the religious elite. Why do we do this? Why is that we aim for “Pharisee” status within our denominations? We want to be viewed as righteous, yet hold power. We want to be viewed as God’s chosen, yet we view ourselves as better than one another and the lost.
Jesus came to this earth to show us God’s love in action. Jesus is God. God did away with the old system. He now calls us sons, not slaves. We’re no longer slaves to a religious system that requires us to “keep God happy”. We are no longer held to letter of the law, freeing us from the fear that when our human shows, we’d be tossed aside. More than that, he freed us from ourselves. He showed us how to live a life that leads to peace, not in the life to come, but in this one. What we miss is the fact that heaven isn’t just somewhere we are trying to end up in the after life. Heaven is something you can experience in this life, here and now. The place of peace that surpasses understanding, the joy of the Lord, rest for your soul. How can this be?
We have a choice in life. Not the kind of choice that allows you to become rich and famous, or live free from sorrow, but the kind that brings heaven to earth.
“Thy kingdom come, they will be done ON EARTH, as it is in heaven.”
The truth is, it’s all in your head. Yep, in your head. With the idea that we are to copy the lifestyle of Jesus, lets see how we faire compared to scripture. (Please note that this is a general statement and obviously does not apply to EVERY Christian)
Christians are NOT patient
Christians are NOT kind
Christians envy, we are boastful, and proud
Christians dishonor each other & the lost
Christians are usually self seeking and easily angered
Christians keep records of wrongs and secretly delight in evil
Christians protect their interest
Christians hope to appear righteous
Christians “persevere” through trials
Western Christians have failed
Makes me sad honestly. The truth of these statements is my observations of myself overtime in my attempt to climb the religious ladder. It didn’t begin that way though. We must see the error of our way. Christianity was never meant to be religiosity. There are plenty of established systems if you prefer slavery. Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth to crush this idea. He tore down “the temple” of religion and resurrected a new way. The way of love, mercy and forgiveness. Not of judgment, condemnation, and exclusion. He came to show us compassion and brotherly love. To unite us as the human race, each “member of the body” no more or less important or worthy than another. Let us leave behind this dead idea of a God who expects you to preform your way to heaven. That’s unrealistic and God himself even knows that. Let us turn back to God, not with fire and brimstone like those who came before us. But in the realization that God made you. He made you who you are. He knit you together in your mothers womb. You are complete. You are worthy. It’s not about changing who you are, its about changing the way you think. Changing the way you relate to others. Trusting that love or God will always make a way.
Here’s the thing: we interpret love as an emotion. We feel love, until we don’t, then we look for it again. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. It’s choose to love even when you want to hate. It’s forgiveness when you want revenge. It’s compassion for the homeless, the widow, the prostitute. It’s going home at night and loving your family. That my friends is how you spread the gospel, through active love. After all “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
Christians are patient with others and themselves
Christians are kind to others and themselves
Christians do not envy others but are content with what they have
we are not boastful or proud; we do what’s expected
Christians do not dishonor each other or the lost
Christians are not self seeking and not easily angered
Christians keep NO records of being wronged
They do not secretly delight in evil, but rejoice in truth
Christians protect human dignity
Christians hope for the best for everyone
Christians persevere in their commitment to the way of love despite circumstances
Western Christians turned it around
None of these things are about changing who you are, they’re about changing what you do. These are the things that lead to peace within. The things that wont interrupt your natural joy. You will find that your not as dependent of the things you used to need to make you feel or not feel. Your contentment begins to come from within, best of all it stays even when things get hairy. This was the vision for Christianity. This is what Jesus died for. Let us no longer marginalize the sacrifice we claim to hold so dear. Lets BE the church!