24FEB2019 | It's Not About You - Stop It!
A VERY PLAUSIBLE CASE CAN BE MADE THAT HATRED AND CONTEMPT ARE TWO SIDES OF the same coin, equal and complimentary in their capability to rip apart individuals, families, churches, communities, nations, and the world.
They are also equal in their ability to mask themselves as something less sinister, less cruel, less evil, and totally justifiable for a 'good reason.'
In his letter to one of the world's earliest churches, one that was not perfect, one that was in an environment where you could make the case the world was hostile to its existence, Paul was having none of the idea there are people who are more or less important in the body of Christ based off their roles, gifts, graces, or abilities. Indeed, Paul knew what is true now was also true then - when well-intentioned people of God seek to put themselves or others on pedestals, or create a hierarchy of who mattered more, the seeds were being planted for the destruction of the church and the faith of the individuals in the church.
Why does this matter? Why did Paul spend so much time on this topic? In what way is it relevant to us today?
The answer is multi-faceted and rather simple. Amongst other reasons, here are two for us to chew upon as we head into worship this Sunday:
God loves everyone equally, because we are all equal in his sight. When we go about officially or unofficially establishing a 'pecking order' we are running counter to the essence of God's relationship with humanity.
When we sort ourselves in a 'pecking order' of importance in relationship to others within the church - the body of Christ - or, for that matter, in any other avenue, we are focusing more on our importance rather than the supremacy of Christ.
In other words, there is no place within the Christian faith or the church, for us to play or for us to allow others to play, the, "Do you know who I am?" card with respect to putting ourselves or others in categories where some are more important than others.
For, when we do so, we are setting ourselves and others up for attitudes of contempt and resentment, which will ultimately lead, intentionally or not, to hatred - which is not at all compatible with Christianity.