There is real danger when we not only believe others think the same as us, we expect them to, and therefore when we realise they don't, punish them by breaking communication due to our own false, self-righteousness pride.
Today ignoring others and discarding precious people is the punishment served by those who think their own life is ‘plastic-perfect’. And yes, this can include some Christians.
I’m not saying there isn’t a time to wisely walk away from some discussions which would gain nothing more than mutual animosity. And please be aware, this is not a post either promoting, multi-faith worship and/or multi-spiritual communion!
I’m talking about times when people (even Christians) ignore the genuine efforts others (including other Christians) make to connect; the times when people just don’t even bother. The problem is this attitude does not come from a soft heart where real love can grow. It comes from a hard heart (a plastic heart), and ultimately a place of pride.
Believe me, I know how easy it can be to make excuses in one’s head to avoid doing what our conscience actually knows is right! Excuses like; I’m too busy right now…I’ll just leave it to God…or I have more important things to do!
Yes, excuses are made to avoid the more loving and therefore difficult task of connecting, and having honest, peaceful, non-aggressive, difficult conversations.
The raw, the real, the un-pretty, the awkward, just don’t fit into a plastic-perfect schedule, and take precious time away from the beautiful life so many want to have and portray…Yet, discarding and rejecting others in my opinion has never been more prevalent and is the cause of so much loneliness and isolation.
Today so many people cut-off the very means to actually having a more meaningful life…real (sometimes messy) relationships.
While conflict is awful, we need to ask ourselves honestly what we’re doing or have done to contribute? Are we guilty of feeling frustrated and putting the person down, or just ignoring and disrespecting them all together…?
And as Christians, how honestly are we looking at ourselves in the mirror of truth?
Yes, there are times when we should walk away, take a break, or even cease a relationship permanently. But this should never be done lightly, or too quickly.
We need to be open to growing and examining our own heart through genuine prayer, and devotional scripture reading. For this is the real mirror of truth.
Sometimes we can even get to a place of thinking we know what scripture says, so we find another Christian person for accountability and neglect the discipline of devotionally engaging with Jesus through His remaining Word. Accountability partners are fine, but if we’re honest we usually choose people who don’t really challenge us.
We need to STOP doing everything else we prefer to do and simply pray honestly, and read the Bible again and again and again in complete vulnerability. It is only then we will have our hearts softened and strengthened to obey His holy and loving ways.
Plastic will melt in the fire of scripture and will be able to be remodeled.
The truth is our efforts are like filthy rags compared to the only Righteous One, Jesus Christ. All our good deeds and acts of charity, when done to only those who make us comfortable are mostly a way to please ourselves and make us comfortable in this world…
We must reject the way of this world, for to live this way is to be an enemy of God.
True peace and love will only be found living in humble submission to the complete Word of God which thankfully still remains in our Bibles so far (just read footnotes too).
Submission to Jesus requires we know His instructions for us today, which we find in the New Testament.
To understand our purpose, we need to understand the grand narrative of mankind and God’s heart, which we learn from studying Genesis through to Revelation.
Remember the forgiveness of sins is necessary for a relationship with God, for it is our sins that separate us from Him. And forgiveness is freely available through a genuine prayer of repentance and committing your whole self to living with and for Jesus.
But…this is just the beginning. What is required after the forgiveness of sins and commitment to Jesus as Lord??
Micah 6:8 tells us, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
The command is not to do ‘ministry’…
You see, God does not desire our religious observances. No, he does not desire plastic-perfection. He desires our hearts and soft hearts at that! He desires people to love and support one another, to not use and discard one another, or ignore others when they feel inconvenienced.
To Do Justice = We should continue to do what is right towards others and for others. Yes, we should care about others, even those whom we struggle with and never see face-to-face…even those we sometimes think we are better than! We should continue to fight for Christian-Judeo biblical morality.
To Love Kindness = This is not just being kind. This is a command to LOVE kindness. When we love something we nurture it and live with it. Kindness should be a part of who we are as Christians, a part of our character. We need to ask ourselves at times, how truly kind are we? How willing to be challenged and inconvenienced are we?
To Walk Humbly with God = This is not simply walking in humility, for even those who belong to false religions of the enemy can walk humbly putting others first and obediently to commands. The command is to walk humbly with God. But this is not the external acts of ‘good deeds’.
It’s the private acts like genuine heartbreaking prayer, confession, forgiveness, obedience to scripture when no-one is looking, and allowing Him to personally grow us through difficult times and experiences by remaining faithful. It’s NOT becoming more educated and liberal in theology, it is becoming more like Jesus until He returns or we leave this earth.
If we know scripture, we know that nowhere is there an allowance for us to pick and choose verses, or interpretations we prefer to suit our own often hard ‘plastic’ hearts.
We would know of the warnings regarding punishment coming for those who change one word, or twist it to suit their own desires or to manipulate others!
It truly can be so difficult to pray for the strength to obey when we desire the complete opposite…to run the other way, to ignore, to disrespect, to argue, to listen to the smooth talkers, to win the day…
But, Jesus said if we love Him we will obey Him.
And the second great commandment after loving God first, is loving others as ourselves…so the next time we feel like ignoring someone, or disrespecting someone you think is lesser-than, let‘s ask ourselves if we would appreciate it happening to us?
Remember, everything here will fade away and we all will stand before Him with no righteousness of our own…
We need His righteousness.
So let us strive to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with Him, after we have repented from having a plastic heart.
Let’s us not punish others who think differently by ignoring them because of pride and self-righteousness. No, let us not discard people like used goods…
And if we should find ourselves one day, like a discarded plastic mannequin, may we place our hardened, plastic-self, into the fire of scripture to be remodeled…But not into an image that is pleasing the world, rather into the likeness of Him who alone is pleasing, and that is Jesus.
Let us reject the punishment of a plastic-perfect world. Let us reject arguing, slandering, ignoring and thinking we are so much better, and love God and each other in submission and humility.
In Christian love, Melanie.
In Christian love, Melanie.