Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Reading and Observations

Our church has been reading books leading up to Easter for the last few years. This year we are reading "The Jesus Creed" by Scot McKnight. It's subtitle is Loving God, Loving Others. It has really been great so far especially because it is really easy for me to let the things I DO for God become my relationship with him. This has challenged and reminded me to it is about love. So I have been reading it whenever I have the chance and trying to catch up to where the church is. Scot McKnight also has a blog called Jesus Creed ( He is really interesting to read and I think his books are available there as well.

So, to get to the point of my observations, I was waiting for one of my kids and reading the book on Monday. There was another group of people waiting in the same hallway. There were 3 or 4 adults and a whole crew of kids. They were loud and odd. The apparent matriarch of the crew was talking loudly on her cell phone (as if we all wanted to hear her conversation) about money and wondering where it is all going. After she hung up, the rest of the adults were continuing the conversation loudly about how they can't keep helping her out, they don't have any money either and on and on. Meanwhile, the kids were running around like maniacs. Slamming the glass doors, banging on other office doors, carrying the baby around and dropping her, fighting and yelling at each other loudly. It was quite the scene.

I was really not trying to eavesdrop. I just wanted to read my book, but it was kind of hard not to hear what was going on. They were irate over the fact that one of their family members had stolen something and lied about it. They kept saying between cuss words that people must tell the truth and be honest. I was thinking that I agree, people should be honest and truthful. I want to teach my kids that. But why on earth would you be compelled towards honesty in an environment like that? They are trying to uphold Godly morals and principles without God. I think it would be nearly impossible to teach that without connecting it back to God.

I guess there are probably other ways to teach values. There are a lot of moral people that aren't Christians. But it seems like it would be empty teaching. I would quickly become apathetic about being good and moral without seeing the bigger picture of God's plan. Why should we be honest? Because God is honest and just. Because we want to be like God. Because that is how God tells us to live and conduct ourselves. Now that's something I can identify with. That presents a purpose for living that way.

The second thing I observed is how piously judgmental I was of these people. There I was with my nose stuck in my "Jesus Creed, Loving God, Loving Others" book looking down at them for the way they behave. Those are exactly the people Jesus would befriend and care for if He were here. He died for them. It was humbling to admit that I have such attitudes. I am a missionary for crying out loud. But I hope now that my eyes have been opened, Jesus will soften my heart towards the people around me - as loud and unlovable as they may be.

The Jesus Creed (Mark 12:29-31)
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
with all your mind and with all your strength."
The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
There is no commandment greater than these.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out chapter 12 of that book, it relates to how we look at people.