Friday, January 09, 2009

taking the rap

In seeking to follow Jesus and become like him, it is important to take others into consideration and be concerned for others' good, and not just our own. In any conflict we need to incorporate something of the African/American spiritual: "Standing in the Need of Prayer." But we also need to avoid the pitfall of condemnation, either from someone else or others, or from ourselves. That is not truth concerning us in Jesus.

I help others and arrive into true fellowship with them through Jesus, not directly but through him, and by prayer to God for them. And it's important to include ourselves when we're praying for someone with whom we may have an unresolved conflict or issue. In other words as I'm praying for them, I'm including myself in those prayers. "God, help so-and-so and I..."

Another important factor in this is to be open to taking the rap, and when I say that, all I mean is be willing to receive some hard words from Jesus, if he were present. I know Jesus is present by the Spirit, and I believe God can give us words today, even though I believe we have only Scripture as the written word of God, and all words are to be judged according to Scripture. But what if Jesus showed up in person, as he will at his return (second coming)? Many of us think he would take care of those opposed to us, but are not open to the truth that he would bring out into the open that which is not pleasing to God in our lives. He would make us all uncomfortable at first, or at least many of us- and I suspect this to be true of myself, before he would speak comforting words to us.

We often think negative thoughts of others. There can be truth in that, as well as sin. It ever needs to be tempered with love. And also with the realization that when we are in any conflict with someone, we are a part of that, and it's seldom if ever the case that we have no sin in such a matter, even if it's just our reaction to the wrong done to us.

I suspect there are some thoughts out there on this from your own lives and God's work in them. What might you like to share on this from that, or any thoughts?


Deb said...

Great post; a-men to all that is said there!

Maalie said...

I wish a happy and peaceful 2009 to you and your loved ones.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks so much. And the same goes to you and yours!

The Walk said...

Very true. Thanks for sharing this. Happy 2009!