Red Letter Application

A while back, I was in a conflict with those I considered friends. It hurt, and I was a little angry, and was tempted to do anonymous internet sniping. Except now, I do not operate by solely what I want. So I investigated, made peace, and said as much in a private group.

This led to the necessary conversation to clear the air. No one was blameless; both of us were wounded by the other. At the same time, we had a new person start who had just moved here, and he needed help. I say this because it parallels my studies of Jesus’s teaching in Luke 6, among other verses, so much.

First, looking at the conflict that bubbled up to the surface with my friends and I. At the outset, Proverbs 15:18 counsels for a cool head (A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute), and Luke 6:31 (Treat others the same way you want them to treat you) reminded me of what I would want, which is to be understood. Luke 6: 41-42 (Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye) teaches me to see what responsibility I bore, if any, which I did after all. Even before we had the heart-to-heart, in Luke 6:36-38 (Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return) Jesus told me the proper outcome. The relationship is not the same as before, but it is patched up.

In the second situation, the new person arrived at work not knowing what to expect, so he did not bring any food. He was worried he would not have a place to put it. I told him to pick out whatever he wanted from the machine at work (Matthew 24:34-40) so he would not be hungry. After some conversation, I learned he lived in the same city I do. He asked if I could give him a ride back and forth until he was paid (Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back). It was not inconvenient, I thought, while applying in the affirmative. He offered to pay for the food and gas money, which I turned down (If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you?).

It was summed up nicely when Dr. Alton Garrison spoke one Sunday night at church about how people cannot really tell the difference between believers and nonbelievers. How, until recently, he realized there is more than knowing Christianity’s doctrines and using the Bible as a guidebook for living. However, there is one more area, dealing with people like Jesus did. He did not condone wrongdoing; however, he still treated people like they matter, from the adulterous woman to hated tax collectors. It reminded me of the Ragamuffin Gospel. It also brings these verses to mind:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-48

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” James 1:22

I have tried it my way; His way has been working out better.

 

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