Friday, January 13, 2012

Rhymes with respect, I think

I was thinking the other day about what is required of us as believers.  We are called to extravagant, even ridiculous, love that isn't given only to the deserving and those who will appreciate it and thank us.  It's supposed to be like the outrageous love that has been given to us (while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us).  What a mystery the love of God for His fallen creation is.

Came across this definition from Gina Dalfonzo while catching up on email from the past, er, five years.  It made me think.  I really need to remember this when I'm getting irritated at my noisy cube neighbor or when someone is talking my ear off even though I am shouting with every kind of body language known to man that I want to be left alone or when I'm in a bad mood and am tempted to return a snide comment in kind.
"Christian courtesy is rooted and grounded in the idea that every person—however much we may dislike him or her—is made in the image of God and precious in his sight. It is an ideal that we may struggle to live up to, but the struggle makes us better people; it reminds us to show kindness when every impulse and instinct is urging us to do the opposite. It requires of us something deeper than a rally or a video, something more than the obligatory apology that follows most celebrity catfights. It's a lifestyle that has to be consciously lived every day."

I really wonder what this looks like.  I don't think it's quite the same as kindness.  If it's something we're supposed to imitate from Jesus' life, I think there are certain times when the gloves are supposed to come off (He had a real problem with people cloaking their agendas in the trappings of religious holiness, for instance), but I do wonder how my behavior would change if I was able to see each and every person in this light of truth

Serious political mudslinging season is nigh.  If the politicians who claim to be believers would practice Christian courtesy towards their opponents, well, wow.  What would that be like?

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