I was reminded again this week that it is so hard, maybe even truly impossible for us as humans and individuals to see, or understand anything that we come into contact with, from any other perspective than our own. I mean really when you think about it, how can we? Our perspective is how we define things. It has been built over the course of our lives by many different factors. By who our parents were, where we grew up, how we have been taught, and the culture that we live in.
And then on top of that we live in a time and a country (western culture as a whole) that emphasizes every where we look that there is no one greater than ME! I am the end all be all! I am the perfect example of what I should be. No one has any better insight into what I am meant to be than me! No one is better suited than me to tell me what is right and wrong for me! And so our own opinion of our personal perspective becomes by the worlds standard even more important and individualistic.
So the idea that we should even try to consider anything from any perspective other than our own becomes more and more difficult and even borders on the ludicrous…and yet, that is exactly what God calls us to do. He calls us to see things from His perspective. He asks us to see our sin to be as awful, horrible, and separating as He sees it. And then He tells us to see it as forgiven because of what He has done for us. He asks us recognize the absolute fruitlessness of investing in our own worldly kingdoms and tells us to invest in His Kingdom. He reminds us to see those around us as He sees them, and because of that to love them as He does.
He calls us to live in community with other Christians to whom we are accountable and whose opinions we respect and value as equal to and even greater than our own, so that we can continue to learn that our perspective is not only fallible but at times down right sinful.
And finally He calls us in John 13:34 – 35 as brothers and sisters in Christ to “love one another, just as I have loved you.” Now track with me here for a minute, and let’s unpack this a little. Christ says this at the last supper; He has just finished washing His disciples feet. He as the “master” the “teacher” the “leader” as GOD in flesh, has just washed the feet (a very menial task, something only done by slaves) of his lowly followers. And then eaten His last meal with them before going to His very imminent suffering at the hands of the Romans and Jews, and then to His death on the cross for all mankind. And He says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
He is commanding His disciples, and us as Christian brothers and sisters to love each other with the love that He is demonstrating to them that evening and through the next day. Love one another with the love that went to the cross for us. And He then tells us in the next verse that this, loving of each other, will be so dramatically different than what the self centered world is used to that it will identify us to them as His followers!
Wow. I know I have come up short of obeying that commandment…have you?
As we move forward as a family of Christian brothers and sisters at Kings Chapel, in the coming days, let’s refocus through the lens of the Gospel and try to see things as God sees them. And as we see our sin as God sees it, let it not defeat us, but rather remind us of our incredible worth to Him that He would pay so great a price for us! Let us see our friends, neighbors, and co-workers as those that need to hear and see the Gospel from us!
And finally let us seek to learn to love our Christian brothers and sisters with the completely sacrificial and serving love that Christ demonstrated for us in His last hours of life and horrific death.
In His Love,