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I recently heard about a Christian who expressed how difficult it was for her to be around one of the other faithful people in her congregation. She said something about it being hard “just because of the way she is.” I don’t really know what “way she is,” but as I reflected on this sentiment I thought about how difficult it must have been for Jesus to “be around” people like me….I mean just because of the “way” I am.
God did not love us or open communication to heaven with us because we were fun to talk to. He did it when we were unlovable, hard to stomach, and unworthy…basically despicable. While we were yet sinners…God talked to us? God looked at us? God was willing to “stomach”us. No. He commended His love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). What’s ironic is that the only way I can do any of this for Him, in return, is when I do it for the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46)—the unlovable, the one I don’t really want to “be around,” the one who is unseemly in appearance or the one who is even my enemy (Romans 12:19-21). So there we have the unpalatable truth. We were all unpalatable to God, till Jesus came to let us get inside of Him…to put Him on, so we could be fit for heaven.
As a parent, I have to think of it this way to get the full import: God gave His “Caleb” in order to have a relationship with and save ____________ (the most despicable person I know). And God’s Son was Deity! He was not a mere unworthy human, like my son. That makes me want to go and be kind to and teach, if I can, that person, who is hard to “be around.” May the Christian who said this (and I’m sure it’s been me, at times), grow, as she studies this concept. May she grow to be humble and see that she is not “good enough” to disdain anyone who has put on Christ—the Christ who left a perfect heaven where he had been for eternity with the Father, to walk the dusty roads of Galillee with people who were “yet sinners.”
And remember… if you can’t stop a negative thought about a sister somewhere between your brain and your mouth, you may be one of those people it’s just hard to “be around.”