Keep It Simple, Stupid
(or if you’re offended easily, just K.I.S. But my teacher taught me not to be guided by offenses and used the word stupid when I acted stupid, so…).
That’s usually the problem, though, isn’t it? We’re guided by fleeting feelings and base our perception on life and our reading of God’s Word on the very thoughts and emotions that He tells us to take captive.
Here’s the perfect example… I’ve been preparing this week for a wedding ceremony that I’ll be officiating, and in the process, have been reading through Scripture concerning ‘love’. I’m always amazed at how easy God’s Word is (“My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”) and how difficult we try and make it with all of our religious do this and don’t do that.
There’s a scripture in Romans 13:9-10, that says “Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”
I love this passage as read simply through The Message translation. Ultimately, what it’s saying is that the Ten Commandments (God’s law for His people) can be followed if we just love. Even when Jesus was talking to the rich man, said the greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Again, we would follow God’s law if we would choose love first.
Too often as “Christians,” we miss the point of the Gospel. We make it all about the do’s and do not’s. And then we judge ourselves and those around us through the eyes of whether they measure up to our written standards. When, again, the written standards all add up to nothing more than LOVE. 1 John 4:8 says, “He who doesn’t show love, doesn’t love God, because God is love.”
Sadly, to the world, we’ve portrayed ourselves as the grumpy, out of touch, old teacher, with ruler in hand and glasses pushed up our noses, hoping for someone to get out of line, so we can smack ’em with the authority and righteousness that we obviously wield. When we should be praying and caring for them in Love.
Do you want to really help someone? Come down off your religious high horse, quit smacking people with your law, and start showing them that you care, just like He did for you. Help someone in need. Care for the broken-hearted, be the shoulder of support someone can trust. They may cry on it, they may try and ride it to get out of their own mess, but be available. Be love.
Now I realize that as I write this, two opposing thoughts arise… the religious indignation in some, is already feasting on the emotion that is boiling up within you screaming, “but there must be law”; and the “greasy gracers” are equally yelling “I can love how I want to love”. Hear me out, of course, there are standards that we must live by. But, if I don’t understand first that it’s not because I maintain standards that I love, but instead that I love and therefore the standards naturally flow, then I’ve missed His point.
Come back here next week where I’ll discuss that love isn’t the emotion that you think it is.
For today, I’ll end with this; If you have to make it about your own “do’s and do not’s” (as if what He did wasn’t enough), do this…