Yesterday was a mix. Sundays are that way. A nice lunch with the class Charlotte and I teach (early 20’s). There are some wonderful people in this class. Later in the day, had good interaction with several other people. But the day was frustrating as well. A microphone whose battery goes dead ten minutes into the message. And—I didn’t realize it until it was too late. Grrrr… Frustrating. But then the day ended on a good note. Our Life Group met in our home last night. Wonderful people! Every week, I hear that someone has been intentional about encouraging someone else.
This morning, I have been thinking about what this guy said many years ago. I can’t remember the setting. I can’t remember the occasion. But his words are still very clear.
The Gospel doesn’t make people mean.
I’ve thought a lot about those words since then. Maybe these words had an impact on me because I have dealt with a few people who were just plain mean. "Active in church." A friend to some. Not involved in sexual immorality or other kinds of blatantly immoral behavior.
Yet these people were sometimes mean.
Sometimes, we don’t allow the gospel to penetrate our relational or emotional lives:
- A church leader who doesn’t get his way and insults those who don’t see things the way he does.
- A woman (or several women) who seems to be jealous of another’s looks and finds every opportunity to "run her down."
- The young couple who borrows money and then refuses to repay it.
- The woman who regularly burns bridges behind her (chewing out one person after the other) and then can’t understand why she doesn’t have friends.
- The guy who gripes and complains on a regular basis and then can’t understand why no one will listen to him.
- The woman who just can’t seem to get along with people.
- The person who is known for his great talks and meaningful words but then loses credibility with people because of how he treats others one to one.
Yet, these are people who are moral in many ways. These may be people who are highly involved in their church. Nevertheless, there is something about their emotional/relational selves that doesn’t seems to be maturing in Christ. Yet, there are so many "one another" passages in the Bible. Scripture in which we get a picture of God’s intent for our relationships.
- Love one another (Jn. 13:35)
- Encourage one another (I Thess. 5:11)
- Be devoted to one another (Rom. 12:10).
- Regard one another as more important than himself (Phil. 2:3).
- Accept one another (Rom. 15:7)
- Serve one another in love (Gal. 6:2)
- Comfort one another (I Thess. 4:18)
That is just a small sample. There are many, many, more.