I’m reading a book that spent some time on looking at how Jesus made such a big deal of sifting the religiosity of the law in Torah down to two commandments that should always reign and can cover every other law: Love God, and Love others.
Yesterday, something happened, that in revisiting, made me sadly realize I err here.
A family friend recently experienced a called-off engagement. One of them recently began walking with the Lord - and I think that played a big part in the decision to call it off. My mom, sister and I were talking about it, and we were talking about how hard it must be for the heartbroken one - who has no idea why the other person called it off. Then, without pausing to consider, I said, “That is really sad, but I think Mark made a good decision in taking seriously his relationship with God and recognizing the seriousness of this stuff. Can you imagine marrying someone who doesn’t know God?”
They responded with comments pointing to: “Billy, how could you be so insensitive, she could change, and Mark hasn’t even been going to church that long himself, who is he to do something like this - they were engaged!”
At the time, the reaction surprised me. But in looking back - it was really dumb to say that. It was spurred by a wrong understanding as to how we’re to influence others towards Christ. My mind was juggling my sister really needing to learn how important being equally yoked is (and I thought it was going to happen from me saying one sentence); an awareness that I need to grow in firmness and standing firm in God’s truth more boldly; and a corrupt heart wanting to appear godly and right :-/ just like the pharisees. That desire to boast in my understanding of the importance of God’s law came out in an unsympathetic attitude toward a person who’s world had just been turned upside down, and instead of lovingly encouraging my sister, I threatened her with, “Kelly, you better take your relationship with God more seriously or this might happen to you.”
It was picture perfect pharisee.
Walking around with a plank in my eye, thinking I’m supposed to be a kingdom cop and make sure everyone knows what’s right and what God wants them to do. That’s not my job - thankfully - it’s a crappy one.
Following Christ can’t result in a loveless, middle finger to the world, “I’m right you’re wrong,” “I’m pursuing God, so get the heck out of my way” overzealousness. It’s such a backwards theology. “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17
Lord, help us learn how to live in the delicate balance of loving like Jesus did.