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

Judas is Me

Judas is Me

Judas Full of Questions

Judas

Full of Questions

Wanting to Keep the Peace

Judas

Full of Questions

A God?

A Man?

Like Me?

Judas

Full of Questions

Status Quo Keeper

Not a Big Dreamer

Judas

Full of Questions

Money Over Life

Sold Out Love for a Price

Judas

Full of Questions

Simply Could Not See

Judas

Full of Questions

Too Often is Me

Judas

I find myself thinking a lot about the biblical bad guys of the Easter season lately. Judas in particular comes to my mind as we approach Good Friday. He’s bad guy number one by most accounts, right? Well, this may be shocking for some people to read but I think Judas gets a bad rap.

Does he sell out Jesus? Sure. There were many who quickly turned on Jesus in the week since Palm Sunday. There were certainly no more jubilant crowds showing “Hosanna!” Judas was one of many. But, there’s more.

Judas thought Jesus was a good teacher. He did follow Jesus after all. He wanted to give money to the poor too. It’s not likely Judas didn’t do any good during his time. So, he kept a little back. Jesus tells a rich man to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. He couldn’t do it. (Luke 18:22-23) Could I? Could you?

Most importantly, however, Judas wanted to live. The Roman army was in town to keep the peace by any means necessary. Judas knew if Jesus, and the crowds surrounding him, got too loud that’s when they would all parish. No questions asked.

The Pharisees, read the most religious of the day, worried the same thing. Jesus of course replied to their pleas that even if the crowds went silent, the stones would cry out. (Luke 19:40) Judas knew this. Something had to give.

And, I wonder, “How many times do I try to tame the words of Jesus to fit what is comfortable for me?” If I was following somebody not knowing where it was leading would I put my life on the line? I have the benefit of seeing the biblical playbook and I still admit to not following as closely as I’m asked. So, if you’ve ever felt less than secure in your faith walk, you’re not alone. It’s not easy!

Let’s just not be too hard on poor Judas. My guess is he just fell into the “Good Moral Teacher” camp. There are many people there. I actually feel kind of bad for him. His story doesn’t end well no matter which biblical narrative you read.

The question is not how much am I like Judas, ultimately, anyway. The question is how much am I willing to be different? Will I follow Jesus even when doing so is uncomfortable? Will you?

It’s a question we must all answer for ourselves daily.

Ask yourself,

  1. In what way can I step just a little bit beyond my comfort zone for the cause of love?
  2. How can I grow in community with others building on our shared commitment to love?

Even if not always easily answered, it’s questions like this that move us forward; individually and together.

So, be kind to yourself. …And to poor Judas too…

Wherever you are, please join me as we begin this part of our journey together and remember, in the realm of justice and love, “Love accepts you, no exceptions.”

Peace Love and Acceptance