Irony…the flip side

i wrote yesterday that we,  the redeemed…the rescued…the pardoned…the forgiven…the ones who’ve tasted the exhilaration of grace and understanding and tolerance…should be the ones who lavish the same on others.

but let’s be honest.   we struggle with it.   we fumble the ball when it comes to openly and humbly welcoming broken and messed up people into our lives…and extending to them the same kind of love that has been extended to us.

this is not about inflicting us with guilt.   god knows we have enough of that going around!   no.   this is just about trying to understand the struggle and making steps to move forward.   all of us.

in this struggle,  i want to be clear:   love and grace and acceptance and tolerance and understanding and compassion and open arms does not mean i reject truth and embrace the idea that people can live any way they want.

the social outcast needs to come home…

the financially destitute still need to be generous…

the illegal alien still needs to submit to the law of the land…

the homosexual needs to stop having sex with his/her own gender…

the drug addict needs to stop and get help…

the runaway should stop running and make peace at home…

the lonely should invest in others and seek out friendship…

the slutty girl must stop being sexually promiscuous…

the racist needs to own up to his sin and make amends…

the welfare recipient needs to work hard and assume responsibility…

the rich man needs to repent of greediness and care for the poor…

the felon needs to accept the consequences for breaking the law…

different opinions need to be measured and truth must be spoken in love…

the dysfunctional need to be held accountable…

prideful,  arrogant people need to be challenged and disciplined…

hurt,  empty,  confused people need to step up and get help…

make no mistake.   the call of god is a call to holiness.   it is a call to righteous living.   it is a call to christlikeness.   to submit ourselves to the lordship of christ means that our lives no longer belong to us.   we are to live as ambassadors and representatives of the kingdom.   we do not…we cannot…live for ourselves any longer.

we believe in right and wrong.   there are certain behaviors that will never be consistent with the lifestyle of a disciple.

in spite of that,  there will be questions.   there will be dialogue.   there must be civility and room for opinion.

and there must be love.

and stop kidding yourself  if you think you can love without relationship.

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3 thoughts on “Irony…the flip side

  1. The Holy Spirit has tried to impress upon me (and has succeeded occasionally!) that if I’m going to live and love the way you’re describing, I’ve got to find a way to ask people their stories. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when I hear about someone’s childhood or work experience or church experience, it softens my (arrogant?) view of them. . .Okay. . .so I haven’t asked a hundred people, but eventually I will!

  2. Kara, Thanks that is so true. Unconditional love is what I believe we are called to have. I have found that I am a sinner as much as the next person. Sin has no degrees, it just has different consequences. Mike, thanks for being bold and honest, I like that about you. I believe people should be held accountable, but love them through it. I am thankful that Jesus loves me even though I don’t deserve it.

  3. Rotel and i talk all night last night about the flipside. I could not remember where the verses for still living by mans laws.(except for the obvious one). laws make grey areas when we try to find loopholes.

    God will forgive u for your sins but u still have to pay the pipper on earth. Very hard concept.

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