Hypocrites and the Law of Love

Hypocrites and the Law of Love

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5

A lot of self-righteous people are going around these days telling others what they should or shouldn’t be doing. In some cases, these hypocrites have legislative power which can be a very dangerous thing.

Moreover, the hypocritical legislators can be swayed by other hypocrites too. Watch out when that happens because, as much as I hate this type reasoning, it happens from both sides. I feel this keenly as a disabled person.

We witness this in many ways.

Reproductive rights, exclusion from full participation whether in church or society, healthcare, straw bans, the list seems endless. I am going to explore each of these areas in my next several posts.

(Shameless Plug: I write every Monday and Thursday.)

But, rather than dwell on any one of these topics today, I want to offer for consideration what I believe is the best way forward no matter the subject at hand. My hope is that this will provide our basis for deeper discussion in these sensitive areas.

Note: Please chime in. I already know what I think. Be open. Be respectful. Listen and I will too.

Anyway, here it is, though, if you’ve read any of my other posts this won’t come as a great shock.

(If you haven’t that’s ok. I still love you. Shameless plug #2, please start reading, comment, and share. See: I already know what I think.)

Love always expands the circle. Love is inclusive. Love seeks justice and equality. Most of all, Love meets you where you are, knows one size doesn’t fit all, and Love love’s you just as you are even when you fall short.

I think of my experience with my daughter, Hope, and each of us are far from perfect. From the moment I held her, I knew nothing could ever stop me from loving her no matter what. She could kill me and, even though whatever pain she projected onto me would bring me great sadness, I would still love her.

Love just is. Love lives beyond what can be easily understood in our humanity. When I, as a Jesus follower ask, “What would Jesus do?” I’m really trying to discern, “What would Love do?”

Love is true, no matter what you believe or don’t believe as a matter of faith, even when the answers aren’t so easy. Perhaps that’s why we’re told Jesus said, “Love is greater than any of the other rules.” (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28)

Love is a good starting point even for old hypocrites like me. Let’s try it.

Tell me, what do you think?

Let me know if you have other discussion topics too. As long as you’re willing to respectfully participate, I’m willing to discuss. There is no shortage of questions. Who knows? Call me an optimist but maybe the answers can be found in our sharing together.

Wherever you are this day, thanks for joining me in reflection on these words of love as we share this part of our journey together and remember, wherever you find yourself, in the realm of justice and love,

“Love accepts you, no exceptions.”

Peace Love and Acceptance

Are You a Doubting Thomas?

Are You a Doubting Thomas?

Doubting Thomas

The rest saw Jesus

Thomas did not

He had just wandered into the scene

It all left him at a great disadvantage

Like a fish against current midstream

The women saw first

In itself quite an outrage

Then the others as the day just began

Not so poor Thomas

Who gets such a bad rap

He wasn’t in on the plan.

But, Jesus did love him

Even did show him

Said, touch right here and you’ll see

And, that’s how it works

Love meets you where you are

Even when it’s hard to believe.

Doubting Thomas

(Scripture References: Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4-8, John 20:19-31)

Do you ever have doubts?

Doubts about faith? Doubts about life? Doubts about yourself?

I’m not sure most people admit much to doubt.

We like to be in control. We certainly like to appear that way.

But, there are often times when life feels out of control. Maybe that’s even most times.

So, we doubt, right?

Here’s some good news. We come from a long line of doubters.

Think about it. We see many examples of this just in the Easter story alone.

The crowds shouting, “Hosanna!” doubted enough to go from seeing Jesus as their savior to seeing him crucified in less than a week. A week!

The disciples all doubted they could go on without the physical presence of Jesus.

They didn’t trust God’s plan. 

They were scared when he told them he was going away even though he told them the Holy Spirit wouldn’t really have them be alone at all.  The Holy Sprit would enable God’s presence to be with them everywhere.

Then, they were scared and locked away in a room after Jesus was crucified.

Peter, “I’ll never let them take you Jesus!” quickly doubted all the way to becoming,”Jesus who?” just as Jesus told him he would do.

Judas Iscariot, another bible bad guy, wasn’t really much worse than many others.

As noted in my post Judas is Me he just wanted to live. He doubted the savior label of Jesus but he did believe Jesus was a good moral teacher. He’s hardly alone there.

So, if you doubt too, no matter where you are on the “Doubt Scale,” you aren’t alone. Welcome to the club. I’m a long time member. 

…And, so is Thomas.

He didn’t see Jesus like the others had.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Blessed are those who haven’t seen and still believe. (John 20:29)

That wasn’t the other disciples Jesus was talking about. I mean, they literally tell him, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas just says, “I want to see for myself.” (John 20:25) 

And, before anyone grabs the “I’ll cast the first stone” seat thinking they’ve always believed even in the difficult times, stop. I don’t think we can be human and never doubt.

Besides, that’s not the point.

The point is that Love loves you wherever you are even with your doubts. 

Just as Jesus met those locked away disciples in the upper room, Jesus met Thomas, and he meets me, and you. Why?

Because, Love meets you where you are. 

So, Jesus says, “Go ahead, Thomas. Touch me and see for yourself. Do not doubt, believe.” (John 20:27) 

Love does the same for you.

Maybe, you haven’t seen the physical Jesus. I haven’t either.

But, the times I have seen love, especially in my darkest times, are countless.

Look around. Sure, you might see all kinds of reasons to doubt but look for the reasons to believe in love too.

Because, Love believes in you. So, do I. 

Look to all the people fighting for love and justice. Look at smiles from strangers. Look into the eyes of a child. Love is there. Love just is.

No matter where you are, love is there with you. Even if it’s sometimes difficult to see.

Believe in yourself.

Believe in Love.

Love is the one unstoppable force.

Delayed, maybe. Never stopped. We’re still here and so is Love.

Here’s the other good news. Love is transformational. 

You can grow in the ways of Love and you don’t do it alone. Just as we have love, we have each other. Another gift of Love. As you live into it, you are called to share it!

Yes, the forces of darkness will want to stop you (Acts 5:28) because love is that powerful but your life is a witness to the Power of Love. (Acts 5:32)

Try as they might, they can’t stop love.

Likewise, you can let go of doubt too.

Doubt is no more than the enemy telling you to give up on the Power of Love.

Don’t give up on yourself or Love. 

Love will always be here and you are connected to it. From beginning to end. (Revelation 1:8)

So, try living it out.

Look for Love, and to Love, the next time doubt creeps in and then find ways to share it.

Ask yourself, what does Love say about me? 

If you need a reminder, I’ll repeat, “Love says, you are loved right where you are even with your doubts.”

Go and repeat it too.

Wherever you are this day, I hope you’ll join me in reflection as we share this part of our journey together and remember, in the realm of justice and love,

“Love accepts you, no exceptions.”

Peace Love and Acceptance