Saturday, March 16, 2013
As a college student I would often complain about the intrusive nature of my alarm clock. Now that I’m a mom it isn’t necessary to set an alarm. The little brains of our children are hard wired to turn on at 6:30 every morning, even on Saturdays. This morning Sean climbed in on my side of the bed, snuggled up to me and asked, “Mom, why did white people treat black people so bad in the old days?” Talk about a wake up call!
My eyes were still closed, but now my brain was wide awake. I didn’t have the eloquence to answer Sean’s question with anything but the truth. Because of the sin in their hearts one color of people thought they were better than another color of people and refused to treat them as humans, so they gave them different water fountains and different bathrooms and refused to serve them at restaurants. “This is why we need Jesus, Sean because without His love in our hearts we hurt others.”
I then became very convicted. God has been working on my attitude towards others this week. Why is it so easy for me to devalue people who aren’t just like me? I want God to keep working in my heart until I can see what He sees in every person I meet. Who am I to devalue someone for whom He has paid such an extravagant price to save?
Satan knows that all he has to do is counterfeit the love and acceptance the children of God possess. When we withhold the love of Christ from others they turn to the nearest group of fellow human beings who share their need for acceptance. Then, instead of finding salvation and a new identity in Jesus Christ they instead identify with a culture, a habit or a lifestyle. Instead of growing the body of Christ, I become just another member of another exclusive group with sin sick world at the end of my ten-foot pole.
I love how Jesus broke things down. I do the same thing with my kids. Make the directions unavoidably easy to understand and follow. For instance if I say, “Clean your room.” They respond, “I can’t! It’s too hard!” However, if I instruct them to first pick up the trash put it in the trash can and put the clothes in their hamper, they may complain but it’s not because they don’t understand.
Jesus said, “Love me with everything you’ve got and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” (that’s a paraphrase) This command is what the world is waiting on followers of Christ to do. We have to fall in love with Jesus first, that means letting Him in to every part of our life. That means letting Him see my selfish desire to devalue and ignore those who I perceive as “less” than me; Then in the midst of my “undone” moment I’m reminded of my desperate need for a redeemer. Jesus replaces that attitude with His love, making my life acceptable to a holy God.
In my mind it comes down to this. Every soul has value, worth and purpose through Jesus. If I have the opportunity to influence the life of another person and I neglect to help them see their value, worth and purpose then I am not living up to the call of a follower of Jesus.
Sometimes we just need a wake up call.