Believing and Agreeing
Many of us tend to listen to those who agree with us or believe those who agree with us, and we are satisfied with this because we can survive with this. But it would be worth our effort to learn how to agree with those who listen to us or agree with those who believe in us.
The Lord believes in us much more than we believe in him. Why? Because it means much more to the Lord that He believes in us than that He agrees with us. The Lord loves people. And love does not flow from agreement; it precedes it. Love does not look for compromise; it looks out for another's good. Christ did not compromise with others. Rather, He called for their conversion. He did not call sinners to follow Him. He called sinners to imitate Him. He invited twelve sinners to become Twelve Saints. The Lord invites us to turn from our former way of life and "be renewed in the spirit and put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth" (Eph 4:24). Christ did not give up on the sinner and call it a draw. He drew the sinner towards him and called it love.
For this reason, the Lord loved the sinner; for this reason, the Lord died for the sinner: so that they could believe in Hirn before they agreed with Him.
"One does not live on bread alone." We need food. Let's not fool ourselves. But we need food just as much as we need love. The Lord was not naïve. We need our bread, we need sustenance. And we should never forget that man needs to eat in order to survive. But what we tend to forget is what the Lord reminds us of: One does not live on bread alone. Like so many of Christ's teachings, this saying means much more than just the obvious. It means one does not live on money alone, sex alone, pleasure alone, happiness alone, material things alone or acceptance alone. To live we need more than just to survive; we need to thrive. To live life to the full, we need God; his divine life and his divine words. In order to live we need to be able to forgive.
I remember an incident some time ago where an individual that verbally abused a Chic-fil-A employee was summarily fired from his job. I really consider this a shame. That should never have happened. Why? Because our society taught this man the art of hate rather than the art of debate. He was so proud of himself, he videotaped himself. How many of us on the road have been caught in a moment of anger, of a raging fit??? Thank God we did not videotape ourselves; thank God we were not videotaped!
Unfortunately, I don't think anyone came to his rescue ... too risky. This is precisely were a Christian need to come in. This is precisely where the person who was verbally abused could help by telling the world that she did not want this to happen; that this man deserves a chance to redeem himself. But redemption requires someone dying; someone coming to the rescue; someone taking him by the hand and helping him back up. The human reaction was obvious: make him suffer as much as he made her suffer. This is the human reaction. The Christian position is not so obvious: love him before he can understand us.