10/29/16

when the truth comes out



Have you ever thought something about someone and gotten really embarrassed? Shocked even, because how could you a "good person," a beloved daughter, dear friend, a believer, think that kind of thing? How could you say those things against a person? How is that even in you?

And then you think: is that who I really am? Am I just a wicked, cruel person hidden underneath the disguise of fake smiles, memorized Bible verses, bless her hearts, and church activities?

Yes. You are.

So am I.

Barbara DuGuid, an honest and beautiful writer, grew up all over the world with people of all different ethnicities and would have never thought of herself as racist until a moment of frustration and anger when she said the words, "Go home!" to an Indian business woman living in England who would not give Barbara the deal she wanted. Quickly she realized she might say she's not a racist but hidden underneath was a evil racism that was exposed in a moment of unnecessary anger.

So quickly we realize what we claim about ourselves isn't true when our thoughts come to light and we are exposed, even if only to ourselves.

I wonder how our judgements about others affect the way we think of missions. Are there people we think do not deserve the saving grace of the Gospel? Sure we may not say that out loud, but hidden underneath it all we have reservations. There are those people who we don't want to invite to that Bible study because, well, we just don't really like them. And people who do things or are things or say things that are just so evil that they could never experience a relationship with the Lord.

I think of extremes---the serial killers, pedophiles, terrorists---who we say, or only think, they only deserve one thing: hell. And it scares me that we would say they deserve hell but yet can look at ourselves and say we don't.

I think of prostitutes or drug addicts. People who have killed their babies in the womb or stolen money from others. And it's hard for us to imagine grace for them, isn't it?

And then, there are those who are simply people we know who rub us the wrong way or forgot our birthdays or maybe they're too liberal or too conservative, too loud or too awkward. They are too something and because of that they are not someone we're willing to share the Gospel with because we simply don't want to be around them. And maybe we justify it all but really what we are saying is that because they annoy us they do not deserve to hear the truth.

God help us in our selfishness.

Because they do not deserve grace. But---news flash!---neither do you. Neither do I. Neither does your sweet little 3-year-old or your caring mama or your goofy brother or your friend that makes you laugh harder than anyone else. None of us deserve grace. None of us deserved to have someone share truth with us, share the goodness of the Gospel with us. None of us deserved to have a perfect God-man come and absorb all of our wickedness and give us his right-ness.

It is by sheer grace that we are saved. None of us deserve this grace, yet the Lord freely gave it to us. And how can we sit back and decide who "deserves" our commitment to share the Gospel to them? 



My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. -James 2:1-9