It is an assumption we always make when we read bible passages about loving our enemies, turning the other cheek and blessing those who persecute us. We assume that we are always the victims. When we read such passages, we tend to see ourselves as the innocent target to the slap or the accusation or the insult.
But the truth is that more often than not, we deserve it. At least I know I do. For instance, not so long ago I lied to a friend, and through that lie, made her an enemy. She “found me out” and I paid the price by not only losing her trust, but also her friendship.
Now, of course I asked for her forgiveness and repented of my sin before God. Ideally, that would be the end of that. But reconciliation is much more complicated, and much less Utopian.
Chesterton once said that “we choose our friends and we make our enemies”. While it is easy to see how this happens, there is something we deliberately make ourselves blind to — the fact that having an enemy does not always mean we are the innocent party. This victim mentality is a product of our sinful, self-preserving tendencies.
We don’t like to look at ourselves as the guilty ones. Continue reading Loving the Enemies We Make
It is a familiar passage. One that almost every Christian has become well acquainted with. A woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus, to serve as bait. The pharisees and the scribes wanted to see if Jesus is going to break the Law of Moses. He seems to have broken too many laws by now. Working (healing) on Sabbath, eating and drinking with sinners… among others. Somehow, he has managed to cleverly get himself out of their entrapment tricks. But this is a big one. To speak against a law that required capital punishment would be outright heresy. There is no way that Jesus was possibly going to get himself out of this one. The law was black and white on adultery. Jesus had to agree with the law on this one:
They said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” [John 8:4-11] Continue reading Jesus Did Not Cast The First Stone
I was a loser, drifting through this cursed planet, aimlessly weaving through broken promises.
I was a proud star, scaling the heights of shattered commandments, tip-toeing across sharp pieces of broken trust.
I was a loose cannon, a loud cymbal, a lost cause.
Love was not a word in my life-tionary, even though it dominated my diction-ary.
As brown as dirt, as wavering as dust, as shifty as sand, as hardened as the land.
My life was tainted.
My hope had fainted. Continue reading Beautiful Mud
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.” [Luke 15:28]
I remember it like it was just yesterday; the hurt look on your face when I told you I was leaving home. I remember the conversation we had. You tried to dissuade me from leaving. You thought I was making a bad choice. You feared for my life. You begged and pleaded with me not to leave. But I was obstinate. My mind was set. This place just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I had a whole world awaiting me: territories to conquer, opportunities to grab, a life to live.
Continue reading A Letter to the Elder Brother