Why do we spend so much effort emphasizing what we are against? How’s that helpful?
“Hi there! I’m Heather. I am against cucumbers, loud music, crowded places and anyone who disagrees with me.”
That sounds ridiculous, yes, but my goodness, we trumpet our opposition to stuff all the time. Look at one Facebook feed go off the chain when the opposition shows up. It’s like a feeding frenzy.
When we come from a place of opposition, first, we are already in a losing position; conversation is squelched, dialogue is kicked out the back door. Kindness, yeah right, we are here to make a point–“it’s the principle of the thing!”, we may declare.
So principles mean we can call names? Humility? “Why? We are right!”
Every single one of Jesus’ followers had an agenda. Have you ever thought about that? They wanted “their” Jesus to do what “they” wanted. DId you see that?
Peter: “I will never betray you!” That type A do-er was proud of being WITH Jesus. Until Jesus wasn’t popular anymore.
Judas: “I’ll take care of the money.” Judas wanted Jesus to overthrow the government, until Jesus didn’t.
Even John: “Jesus, I’m your favorite, right?” He wanted Jesus to just stay with him forever. Until Jesus didn’t.
And on and on. They all had agendas.
Do you know why? Because they are human! We all have things we want our Jesus to do for us, don’t we?
- “Jesus, please handle those people.”
- “Jesus, please tell them they’re wrong.”
- “Jesus, don’t let (insert whatever we don’t want to happen) that happen!”
Here’s the thing: Jesus is God. Jesus will not bend to our agenda. Jesus is about his agenda. Jesus: “I am about my Fathers work.” And that agenda is love. Jesus embraced the cross for us, for our agendas, for our opposition. For our sin that goes about slicing one another apart.
His agenda was a meal where he washed the feet of Judas–hearing the clink of money on his belt. And loved his dear friend John who didn’t want to let go, and ate with his fearless Peter knowing he would run away in fear.
He knows they don’t know what they are doing. And he loves them anyway.
That is Jesus agenda!
If I follow Jesus, shouldn’t his agenda be mine?
What things are you “against”?
If Jesus walked into the room right now, what do you think he would say about those “againsts”? Would Jesus simply agree with “everything” you believe is right, or would he perhaps lovingly invite you to consider another way?
How do you think it’s possible to disagree with someone & still love them?
How do you think it’s possible to still love those different than us & treat them with kindness? How would we want to be treated, if we were the ones that were “different”?
Take some time today to write down the things that you feel you are “against”.
Invite God into that list. God’s love is vast & unconditional.
Unconditional love means there is no “forcing” someone to do anything. Unconditional love is always by invitation.
When we came to faith in Christ, we accepted the gift of the gospel–that we are made right with God through faith in Jesus, who took upon himself Therefore, what was once impossible is now possible for us.
We don’t have to be “against” anything.
We can disagree, in love. We can be honest, in love.
We can forgive, in love. We can ask for what we need, in love.
The key word is love.
Remember, you showed up today. That means something. Trust that you are on a journey to wholeness, and that you are being held by the grace of God.