God, Your love has no borders, Your grace No bounds.
May my life be a reflection of You!
Focus of the month: “You have heard it said…”
Mommy, “Cinderella was abandoned, she was abused.” You can imagine my surprise hearing these words whispered from my then three year old during bath-time one evening. Admittedly, we had watched that Disney classic more than a few times. The narrator at the very beginning of the movie spoke those words. Still, with all that happened throughout this fairytale, she chose to focus on those harsh remarks rather than the talking mice, the Fairy-Godmother or those beautiful glass slippers. Could I brush it off? After all, she was only three. Due to this movie she became aware of the pain inflicted upon another and I realized it couldn’t be ignored.
If only I could have shared with her what Jesus shared with us:
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)
Maybe you have heard this message a little differently, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” or “How would you like it if someone did that to you?” The last way is how I remember it from my childhood. Believe it or not there were times I mistreated my younger sister. I banked on the fact that I was bigger and stronger than her. As hard as my parents tried, I still tormented that poor girl. The part that made no sense… I loved having a little sister.
How do we make sense of hurting others? The hurt we cause even to those we are the closest? Those painful actions or words we shoot out like arrows heading for a target? I don’t want someone yelling at me, condemning me, pushing me, tricking me, lying to me, or slandering me…why oh why have I ever done this to another? My heart aches knowing I have caused others pain. Even worse, in my hurting of others, I have also grieved the Lord.
When asked which is the greatest commandment Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Jesus’ words are not suggestions. They are not passive. The words are truth, life giving, and a way to reflect Him to others. The way we treat one another is serious business to Jesus. Notice He doesn’t say treat others the way they treat you…in our flesh we can lean that way. We can seek revenge, discount others feelings, gossip and even disregard other people as “less than”. Jesus calls us out. He says, actively “do to others”. If you want kindness shown to you, show kindness. Want forgiveness? Then forgive. Grace anyone? Yes please…then show grace.
If we take what Jesus says to heart we will be game changers. When we actively seek to lift others up, seek to be women after God’s heart; then we will be dangerous to the enemy who seeks to destroy all that is good in us. We have the ability; we have the tools, let’s have courage to use them!
Hear this truth — if you are in Christ, you are forgiven. Today is a new day and God’s mercies are here! Let’s be doers of the Word and not just hearers. Go actively out and do to others as you would like them to do to you.
In the words of the new live action Cinderella movie—”Have Courage, and Be Kind.”
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Matthew 7:12, 22:34-40; Luke 6:31; Deuteronomy 6:5; Lamentations 3:22-23; James 1:22