Bumper stickers are funny. They often reflect our personality. I am particularly sensitive to Christian themed decals. The abrasive ones really annoy me. I saw one the other day that started “You are not a Christian if…” You fill in the doctrine from there. Often the person feels so passionately about the subject they don’t recognize the antagonistic message they are sending. I found myself grumbling lf the rest of the way home.
Then it dawned on me I was judging a woman I don’t know. How could I know the intent of her heart? Maybe she meant to be judgmental, maybe not. I don’t always love others. People can be annoying. Do you know what I mean? They don’t drive right, they don’t talk right, they don’t believe right. …Have you caught yourself thinking that way?
This event provoked a journey that is now the theme for 2014; pursue the Holy Spirit. Left to myself, I cannot reflect Jesus to others. I need to know and follow Him. I can only do this through a daily interaction with the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said in John 14:26 (NLT) “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”
None of this is new revelatory information. Yet, we need to be reminded. Living life as a Christian, balanced between grace and truth, is difficult. We often fall too far to one side or the other. We daily negotiate mine fields of cultural rhetoric. Often I want to throw up my hands and walk away. Not from Jesus mind you but from people.
But Jesus said the second most important commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39) This is our challenge, not only to learn the truth but to live the truth. I can only accomplish this with a close association with the Holy Spirit. I need to daily allow myself to be filled with His power because ministry requires us to be other focused instead of self-focused.
Mother Teresa understood this. In my mind she is a true hero of our faith. I love that she instructed us to be “kind anyway” when others were hurtful. She loved. That is how I want to be thought of. She loves. How about you? Will you join me on this journey?