I was struck at the bank the other day when I noticed the vault was left open and unattended, yet, I was filling out a deposit slip with a pen that was chained to the counter.
Does that seem ironic to you?
I’m guilty of those little hypocritical gestures….such as ordering a burger, fries, and then a DIET Coke. A friend of mine used to leave his new $30,000 car in his driveway, because his $2,000 camper was taking up the garage space. I could go on and on with things that we do that contradict other things we do. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s not.
Like the guy who said he was a Christian but told a church friend, “I will never forgive you for that.”
Jesus’ harshest words addressed these very things. I don’t know that he would have taken issue with the diet coke and hamburger thing, but when it came to our relationship with him and how it relates to others, he pretty much said, “If you are really with me, it’s gong to be obvious by the way you are with others.”
His best friend, John, wrote, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light… But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9–11 ESV).
The word for “hate” is a Greek word that means to “disregard, slight, resent”. In other words, you can’t be walking with the Lord and at the same time have resentment towards another Christian.
I know, there’s a bit of hypocrisy in all of us. None of us can claim absolute consistency. But this is pretty serious. Jesus compared spiritual religious hypocrites to tombs that were whitewashed on the outside but filled with decaying corpses on the inside. He told his followers to not bother offering sacrifices at the temple (acts of worship) until they resolved issues with their brothers and sisters. How we are with each other is a big deal to Him! And that includes your husband, wife, or extended family.
Just as I was struck at the bank, I was struck a while back when I saw Bible verses posted on social media by someone I knew had ongoing animosity against other believers. The epitome of Christian faith is based on our entering into God’s forgiveness, and thereby passing it on to others. John was pretty straightforward: we’re not in fellowship with God if we are out of fellowship with His other children.
Is there anyone in your life you need to extend that forgiveness to?