So I was driving home and ended up behind and SUV at a light. I saw 3 kids in the back seat. I thought they were pretty young but I think it might be my age.
Well they weren’t as young as I thought I guess. The girl in the middle started kissing on the guy behind the driver. It was a bit embarrassing to watch considering how involved they were. At one point I’m pretty certain an entire face got swallowed. The worst part was the poor third kid in the back with them. This kid had to deal with presumably a sibling and a friend sucking face right next to him. I’m not sure how long this was going on before I ended up behind them or how long it happened after they were heading down the road, but the entire minute or so until the light turned was an intense purpling session and this kid had to live with it.
How many times do we live with stuff like that? Stuff that is embarrassing and even sinful. The things going on in the world right next to us. All that stuff. Some of this stuff is in our life; some of it is in the lives of our friends and family. We try to look out the window at something else but all the while we know it is going on right next to us.
The problem is how we deal with this kind of stuff. Do you confront it head on? Do you make snide comments or retching sounds? Do you take the passive aggressive route? Do you figure there is nothing you can do about it and just try to live with it?
I think we tend to take the wrong approach. Sometimes you need to take the issue on directly, but I think that is the exception not the rule. I see Christians doing on of tow things most of the time when they have to deal with stuff that isn’t “Christian.” We either figure we have to live with it or we make such a spectacle of trying to deal with it that it ends up making things worse. I think of how Jesus dealt with the stuff. People were doing these same kinds of things back when he walked the Earth. He saw past the stuff and into the lives of people. That seems to be the real trick. A bunch of guys drag this lady out to him and tell all about how she was painting the whole town purple. They wanted Jesus to either pass judgment along with them or to ignore the great offense and open himself to judgment. Jesus found another path.
He started drawing in the dirt. Imagine that, he plays in the sand. It is a pretty cool thing when you think about what God does on the 6th day of creation though. God formed man out of dirt and the breathed life into him. That was so different from all the rest of creation. I don’t know what Jesus did with his drawing. There are as many opinions as there were grains of sand at his feet that day. I know this, when he decided to respond he did something else amazing. He said the very one without sin gets to pass judgment. Of course everyone left because they all knew their own sin. Jesus was the only one left that could pass judgment but he doesn’t. Instead he chooses the breath life with these words, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
That is powerful. He doesn’t ignore the issue. He doesn’t try to play in the dirt till they leave him alone. He doesn’t jump all over the lady. He doesn’t choose to live with the stuff. He deals with it in perfect love and wisdom. He shows grace and then expects her to live up to his standards.
That is what he does for us too. He gives us grace, forgiveness for everything we ever did wrong, and then expects us to start living up to his standards. We don’t have to get it perfect so we can earn it, we don’t have to even stay perfect once we’ve earned it. Jesus keeps pouring out the grace and making it possible for us to actually live this life.
Now I wonder what would happen if we all started treating others like Jesus. I really don’t like that phrase “love the sinner hate the sin.” Sure it is right but let’s just look past the sin and see a person, not a sinner. Ok sure they are a sinner but stop thinking of them like that and start thinking of them like a real human being and see if that doesn’t begin to change the way you look at the world. I’m not saying ignore the sin. Jesus didn’t. He just didn’t worry about it until he changed lives. He knew once he breathed in life the sin wouldn’t really matter because of the grace effect.
Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all really made this part of our life?