Maybe I’m just getting old, but the angry young prophet part of me just doesn’t have the fight to be angry about everything anymore. I think it’s because I’ve tired of anger being the predominant emotion in America 2011.
As a Christian, my task in this life is to love other people, love God, and tell those people I’m supposed to love about the God I’m supposed to love. Seems pretty simple, actually.
But we make it all so complex. And in the midst of that complexity arises a bunch of misunderstandings, inevitable arguments, and way too much anger.
More and more, though, one simple truth from the lips of Jesus resonates with me. We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Can we get our brains around that one and try it out for a few days?
What if you and I interacted with our fellow human beings in the way in which we would like to be treated? Wouldn’t that go a long way toward defusing the powderkeg of emotions so many people carry around with them daily?
Seriously, for all our talk of ministry, how often do we truly think about the condition of someone else’s life?
When I’m hacked off about the new gadget I purchased that broke after 15 minutes of use, am I thinking about the customer service rep on the other end of the phone? Do I ask myself what kind of day she has had, whether her marriage is happy and her kids are avoiding jail? Before I unload my ire on her because my doodad disintegrated, do I pause to think how that person, who may not know Jesus, would like to be treated by someone who does?
I’m convinced that most Christians never ask those questions. We do an atrocious job of imagining ourselves in the shoes of the person we’re abusing. In those moments, our self-centeredness becomes the defining characteristic of our lives and nothing of Jesus shines through.
No one is unredeemable until that last breath is drawn. For that reason, the Golden Rule must always apply whenever we deal with others.
No, this isn’t a heavy evangelism message. Still, it strikes me that the best way to find that opening to talk about Jesus is if we learn to treat other people with the same level of love and care we reserve for ourselves. If we put ourselves on the other side of the table. If we learn to think beyond ourselves.