Ok, in my last post on what I think the church needs to be doing, I focused on the idea of us removing the plank from our own eye before we go out and help our brothers with the speck of dust in theirs. But once we’ve begun to deal with our own selfishness and issues, where do we go from there?
I’m going OT on this one:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
The next step is not going out and casting stones at everyone that isn’t on the same page as you. It’s not slapping more bumper stickers on your car. It’s not attending another Bible study (which can’t hurt, but it’s not an end in and of itself).
First, do justice. Not sure how you do justice? Well, let’s just think about all the injustice in the world today. The situation in Darfur? Maybe you could write your Congressman. What about the persecution of Christians in India? Write President Obama about it. Or what about more locally? What about the food pantry down the street that’s running low on supplies because the economy is in the tank and donations are down, but need is up? Maybe something there? Or what about the friend at work/school that is always getting picked on/knocked down/put upon? How about standing up for them instead of standing around? Do the right thing, as the saying goes. Care about someone other than yourself. The problem is not that we don’t know there are injustices out there. The problem is that we’re indifferent to them.
Love mercy. Ahhh…mercy. That unmerited gift of God that is new every morning!! (Lam. 3:22-23) Why do we love mercy? Because we have RECEIVED it! What’s not to love? God forgave me for every sin I’ll ever commit! Jesus paid the price IN FULL (remember “It is finished?”). Every day, mess that I am, I awake to new mercy poured out. And so do you. Even if you don’t know Jesus yet, the fact that you draw breath and have eyes to read these words is mercy. So love mercy. Give a little to those around you. The guy that cut you off today? How ’bout a prayer instead of an insult? The waitress that totally botched your dinner and doesn’t really “deserve” a tip? Give her 20%. Your child that flat out disobeyed your every command, almost with a skip and a smile? Well…
And lastly, but most definitely not least, walk humbly with your God. Oh man, do we Christians need this one big time! Humble…not boastful. Humble…not arrogant. Humble…not judgmental. Humble…not prideful.
Remember who you are, and Who God is. Remember that you can stand before Him on no merit of your own, but only in the cross of Jesus Christ. Remember that everything you have comes from Him, so it’s not yours anyway. So if He calls you to give up something (money, fame, possessions, prestige, pride, etc.), nothing you have is yours anyway.
I guess I really could have summed it up succinctly like this:
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. And we are most definitely not greater than the Master. So get up, go out, and do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.