Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
Amidst the chaos of a world where disagreements seem to reign supreme, the desire to be the ultimate authority of "rightness" often takes center stage. It's like a never-ending show playing out on podcasts, social media, and even making quirky appearances on a stranger's t-shirt.
But let's be honest, when we're fixated on being "right," it's like we're waving a flag that says, "I'm the winner, and you're oh-so-wrong." It's a game that strives to elevate ourselves by putting others down. We've all done it in one way or another. We wield words, actions, and sometimes even shame like weapons in our quest for victory.
Now, don't get me wrong - there are absolutes in this world, things that are undeniably "right" or "wrong." The prophets have always championed justice and righteousness. The trouble arises when we appoint ourselves as the ultimate judges of rightness. It's a dangerous path, especially when we're willing to trample over anyone who disagrees.
Take a look at Jude 3-4, where the early church was reminded of the foolishness of assuming that mere membership granted them a moral free pass. It's like thinking that a gym membership makes you an Olympic athlete! It's about living by your own rules while wearing a "Christian" badge, an attitude that Jude had to call out.
So, let's pause a second and reflect. Are we any different when we claim to follow Jesus but then parade dominance over others? Are we truly embodying the love Jesus taught when we cast aside groups of people as unlovable? Remember, Jesus didn't command us to be staunch defenders or condemnatory crusaders. He simply asked us to do one thing: love each other, just as he loved us.
You see, it's not about winning arguments or trumpeting our own righteousness. Jesus summed up our mission in a few words: "Love one another as I have loved you." It's not through debates or declarations that the world will know us; it's through the way we care and love. As Jesus put it, "By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples: if you love one another."
Ready for the next level? Take a moment today to meditate on Psalm 139: "Search me, O God, and know my heart." Let Jesus guide you as you uncover any rough edges that need smoothing, any corners that need illumination. Let your heart be transformed to reflect caring and a love that's truly like his! Be well.