He walked into the temple.
He walked up to the well.
He walked into the house.
He walked into the garden.
He showed up to the wedding.
He walked into the crowd.
He washed their feet.
Sometimes it’s tempting to keep our distance from the mess, but it’s hard to love people when we are disconnected from them. Distance allows us to protect ourselves and, here, judgment comes easy. We tend to lean towards truth and set grace aside when we are on the sidelines. We can be right and yet be so wrong.
Today I repent for the times I’ve chosen to be right at the cost of being love. For the times I turned my eyes from the pain of others for the sake of myself, for the times I’ve walked by someone on the edge rather than lowering them through the roof.
Agreeing with God is different than obeying Him. He didn’t say; if you love me agree with me. We can safely agree from afar but obeying requires that we spend some time in the mess- both our own mess and the mess that comes in walking with others.
If our theology isn’t causing us to love God and others more, then we may need to reconsider our studies. Leaning into the mess often means loving people who look nothing like us. It means loving people who do things that we don’t understand, things that make us crazy or want to vomit. It means getting to know people who speak in ways that make us uncomfortable, whose life choices are marred by sin.
When we spend time with people who aren’t like us we learn more about the God who created us.
When we lean into the mess with our brothers and sisters we can ask questions, listen, understand, empathize, encourage, love, learn, and point them to Jesus. He loves, convicts, forgives, and restores. Here, truth and grace aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s hard to do that from a distance.
He came down from heaven.
He rose from the dead.
For the sake of the gospel, let’s lean in. Each word that we speak, every action we take has immeasurable power to hurt or heal, to divide or unify. Let’s continue to learn from Him, to be like Him, not just agree with Him.