Wednesday, October 21, 2009

“I have set you an example”

I suppose I return to this setting too often. It’s just that I find it so powerful. In it we find Jesus, taking the lowest job in that culture, too lowly for a Jew and one reserved for Gentile servants. On the night before He was crucified, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, even the feet of Judas, the man who within a couple hours would betray Jesus to His executioners. And when He finished, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Oh my, does our world ever need this in the worst way. Our world needs us to be people who willingly and with a set purpose of mind, help others wash the crud of the world from their bodies and minds. The hatred, the anger, the bitterness and resentments. I work with so many Christians who have been pushed and pushed and pushed by violent or mean spirited family members. And the world in all its wisdom says,

“Push back.”

“Don’t let her get away with that.”

“He doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.”

I see those who have forgotten that freedom to live an abundant life is not found in gossip, or adultery, or in lying or cheating. People have become so accustomed to the sin that’s all about us that they, almost without thinking, begin to believe that divorce and remarriage really isn’t that big a deal. Those people start to believe that self-love is a good thing, that stepping on others is required to get ahead. We start to believe that entering the kind of relationships where layer after layer of emotional protection is required, is to be expected.

Instead, as Jesus showed us, we need to sit down with others, to humble ourselves even before our enemies and bless them. To encourage them. To speak the truth in love. Ah me, I fail so dreadfully at this. I too so easily fall into the pattern of returning fire with fire. We need to not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good. If my King could die for me, surely I can serve others for Him.


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