Did you hear that Kim Kardashian...? Can you believe it?
John Edwards trial continues as mistress....! Oh the scandal.
Ted Haggard falls from glory and loses it all!
Bill Clinton reveals that he did have relations with that woman.
Katy Perry is getting a divorce...
We love a scandal... We love a good story.
We live in an age that glorifies and declares all out victory on the missteps, misfortune and undoing of anyone we see fall.
We justify our dislike for them, we rationalize our disgust. We rejoice in the undoing of others.
The blatant sin of another makes us feel secure in our standing with God. And on some level when we see the pain that others have walked through and it makes us feel just a little bit better.
Our hearts take a deep sigh of relief when someone isn't as good as everyone thought.
If someone has treated us poorly or spits in the face of someone we love and they finally get their "due judgement," we feel a sense of relief.
We use the Bible to vindicate our behavior... with a chuckle we say,
"Vengeance is mine says the Lord!"
Instead of encouraging others toward forgiveness we reassure their position and say "don't worry God will deal with them!"
No wonder people want nothing to do with this Jesus that well meaning people use as a tool in the future destruction of others and to justify ungodly behavior.
It is only because of God that we aren't all tortured, laughed at, mocked and ridiculed.
He desires us to live a different way.
He desires to see His children not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth!
Albeit, punishment is necessary for certain offenses, it should not be a source of joy and excitement.
A sense of joy and satisfaction should not warm our hearts. We should not gloat in the pain that another is about to walk through.
What about an EX--- An Ex-spouse, an Ex-boss, an Ex-coworker?
Generally they are an 'EX' because there has been bad blood or a parting of ways at sometime.
What is your reaction to the news that they are facing.....?
Do you feel a sense of justice in their current situation?
Are you angry when your 'EX' is experiencing joy and excited when they walk through pain?
When love enters the picture...It changes 'Everything!"
The news that your spouse was diagnosed with... tears out your heart. You feel dismayed and desperate.
When your child that everyone else thinks is useless is again homeless, arrested, found drunk... You grieve!
When your friend who is a well known speaker/writer and suddenly is caught up in a scandal, your heart is heavy and saddened.
It is so hard to see the ones we love vulnerable and in pain. No matter the circumstances we should not delight in the undoing of others.
Love rejoices with the truth!!!
The truth is... well... we all sin. The truth is... at sometime our pain will be the reason for someone else's joy.
The truth is... ready for this one.... We ALL screw up!!!
We all are an "EX" something!
Love gives us God vision. It allows us to see the heart, the pain, the fear, the truth!
It allows us to rejoice in the truth of what God says about that person and not what the 'breaking news' proclaims.
Love allows us to feel compassion for the murderer, it allows us to feel grief for a wayward son. It allows us to think about someone else and what they are facing without attaching judgement or condemnation.
"Loving your neighbor" begins to take on a entirely different meaning when we rejoice with the truth.
We can begin to see why Jesus says, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:20-21.
When we heap burning coals on another, we must put it in context with the character of Jesus and the culture in which it was written. People didn't plug into the wall for electricity. In order to feed their family they built a fire. They warmed their homes, dried their clothing and it was a source of life. It isn't about burning them... it is about heaping coals on them so that they will have comfort and life another day. It is about loving them even when they are your enemy. You shouldn't be kind to another person in hopes that they will burn in annoyance from your goodness. Instead your kindness is a sustainer of their livelihood.
It changes your motives and your heart.... and that is what God is after!
The reality of loving others intentionally becomes clear with Jesus!
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.... 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:35-40
The reality of not being so caught up in 'ME' and loving the way Jesus asks us to... is when we will truly experience joy.
When we are able to love Jesus, we will want to 'rejoice with the truth.'
Will you heap coals on another today... in order that they may have life?
Please listen to this song: http://youtu.be/pr9YVD05x8M
I am asking that you share this... encourage others... Help teach another to Love Intentionally.
Do you have a small group? Possibly begin 14 days of loving with your group.
Leave me a message.