FAITH: Being honest with ourselves about our own faults
I love my truck! I bought it used from my wife’s uncle, which is the only way I could afford a truck like this. It is 12 years old and has 194,000 miles on it. Now, most of the time I must use a small wooden bat to hit the underside of the glove box to get the air conditioning to blow. The driver side power lock has stopped working and when I hit a bump wrong, the front-end shimmies until I slow down, so it can stop. I am sure this is the exact description I should use if I was interested in selling my truck, but I am not interested in selling it, I love my truck!
I have heard it said, “We are often willing to tolerate behavior in our own life we would never tolerate in others!”
I am completely willing to put up with the problems my truck has because it is my truck and I love it. In the same way, I am guilty of the saying above by putting up with flaws in my own personality I would be frustrated by, or even resent, in others. This unfortunate truth about myself bothers me very much. It is one of the personal items I pray about on a continual basis. The truth is, I desire to view people the way God views them, instead of the way my selfish heart and eyes view others.
The words of Jesus in John 13: 34-35 continue to both inspire and convict me. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
When we take the teaching and sayings of Jesus seriously, we cannot get away from the absolute command to love other people, even people who hurt us, annoy us, or dislike us!
Jesus says others will know who his disciples are by the way they love others. I also believe Jesus himself will know who his disciples are by the way his love is lived out to others. To love others, the way God loves us, to view others the way God views us requires the hard work of being honest with ourselves about our own faults. As well, when we truly love someone, we are willing to look past or even “tolerate” certain flaws because we love them.
Think of it this way, God looks past our issues and loves us anyway! God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it!
It is more important than ever for you and me to decide we are going to live a life of love instead of life of hate and destruction. Especially in a time of political strife, strife I believe is propagated by a small minority, we must learn to love, even with flaws. Do not be a person who is willing to tolerate behavior in our own life you would never tolerate in someone else!
When we learn God’s love is universal, we can become more universal about how we love others!
That is Good News!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.