Oh Brother! (My Brother)

Acts 10: 27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. 

When we are unfaithful, He is faithful.   When we blow it, He knows it.  And He loves us so much that He suffered and died.   How can this be so?  How can He love us, no matter how far we are from who He is?   Just think of it.  Those who are far away from us in- whatever we hold dear-  knowledge of scripture, physical conditioning, lifestyle, intelligence, beauty, income, seriousness in their relationship with the Lord-  are harder to love.   Or maybe it’s the other way around.   When we see those who are “better”, maybe it’s harder to love ourselves.

What was your private, internal response the last time you saw that beggar on the street that you thought should be working instead of begging?   What was your response when someone asked a truly dumb question?   What did you think the last time you saw folks hanging out in their  trailer park (or is your life too removed to see one)?   What about the clunker parked next to your car in the parking lot?   What about the foul mouthed man who won’t control  his tongue?  Or what about the woman covered in tattoos and nose rings who is serving your food?   Believe me, they are all closer to being like us than we are to being like God.  Yet, He died.

Yes, God.   Geez oh flip.  God is so, so, so, so far away from us in superiority in every single, possible category. We are so different, so “less than” He is.   But He loves us more than any human being possibly could.  How great is our God?  And who are we to judge someone’s worth then the cross stares in our face?  He has no disdain for those who are “less”  than He is or else He would have abandoned us all so many years ago.  Yet, we live in (sometimes very polite)  disdain for those who do not measure up to whatever standard we hold dear.   And comparatively speaking, they are just like us and we are just like them.    Find grace.  Find mercy.  Recognize how close we are in likeness  to any other person on the planet- a speck of distance compared to the infinite distance between our “righteousness” and His.

That isn’t to say that folks shouldn’t be more Godly, more responsible, more whatever.  It just means that it shouldn’t cause us to feel any pride in the distance between us and them.   We can reject behavior.  But we cannot reject the person.    God didn’t.

Sometimes it baffles me to think that we are actually made in His image- because He looks so different from us.  Sometimes I think that we are made only with the potential to be in His image but we have a lot of surrendering to do in order to get there.

Take away:  Be careful not to judge.  God loves each of us.  He is no respecter of persons. And the difference between God and us is light years larger than the difference between us and any other human being on the planet.   We must see each other through His eyes and the cross-  and not our own.   

Prayer:  Dear Father, You amaze me.   Your view of us is so different than ours of ourselves and others.  May I see each person through your eyes and may I see them with the perspective that all have fallen short.   We are all in need of you.   

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