“I don’t like him.”
I’m sure the disciples said more than that to each other when they heard the news that Saul, the persecutor of the church, was said to be converted. How quickly they forgot that although they never persecuted the church, they abandoned Christ to be persecuted, saving their own selves. How quickly the disciples forgot that when Christ rose from the grave, according to scripture, that He never fixed his lips to say, “I don’t like them.”
Because when you have the power to save, and you see someone in an inescapable place in life, you don’t leave them there because they aren’t where you believe they ought to be, but you reach them where they are. That’s grace.
Grace isn’t merely something that empowers YOU to live right and not make mistakes, it’s a power that extends towards others and reminds you to reach people and walk with them where they are at this moment; because that is what Christ did with you. Grace is not solely about you but how you relate with others.
When it comes to any type of behavioral or character development, we can’t start nor expect any other person to start where we think we should be. That’s as ridiculous as asking someone to climb a ladder from the level they’re trying to reach at the top. “You gotta climb from up here!” To climb a ladder you have to firmly place your foot on the first rung – where you are.
One area of life where I’ve noticed this type of thinking is in how some Christian youth speak about their parents. I’ve heard, “I don’t like them because _________”(you fill in the blank). These youth are often harsh in evaluating their parents behavior because they know “everything” about them. It’s so easy to say what someone else should be like and just as easy to not recognize how much progress they’ve made because of where they started ‘climbing that ladder’.
Cut your parents some slack, they are doing the best they can with what they had and have. Besides, we all were doing our best while failing and God didn’t just stand on the top of the ladder and berate our inability to live from the top. Instead He came down and placed our foot on the first rung through forgiveness and conversation; just like he did during his ministry and especially when he met with his disciples after they abandoned him during his persecution.
Grace isn’t about perfection, it’s about purpose – to forgive and talk it out for the keeping and building of community. Have you placed your foot on the first rung? Have you decided on helping someone else in your life place their foot on the first rung?
No one climbs a ladder from the top, so don’t lift your noses up at someone who is supposedly at a lower rung than you. #PushForward
© 2018, Ira Webbe Jr, all rights reserved