As I've thought about how "uncomfortable" I was with the new laptop, I've realized that I am kind of feeling uncomfortable in my life right now. Maybe I should clarify: in my spiritual life.But, for me, everything in my life is a direct reflection of what is going on spiritually and so when God starts doing things spiritually it usually starts affecting everything. The truth is, there have been quite a few times in my life when God has made me uncomfortable. When He's asked me to leave the familiar, that was uncomfortable. When He's asked me to leave my job with no idea how we would pay our bills-uncomfortable. When I've experienced loss and trials-uncomfortable. I grew up in a youth group where we often talked about getting outside of our "comfort zone" so I feel like it is something I've always thought a lot about. I just don't think I realized there would be so many ways I would build security blankets around myself and how many times God would ask me to take them off so that I was left bare and exposed and totally dependent-on HIM.
If there is one thing I've learned it is that as soon as I think I have this whole Christianity thing figured out, I'm gonna learn something new. I'm going to be challenged in a new way that excites me beyond belief and makes me want to cry like a baby all at the same time. Without fail, I'm going to be reminded that I am in desperate need of a Savior and that I am absolutely incapable of serving Him without His strength.
A few weeks back I read two books that pushed me to think and examine my beliefs in a deeper way. Those were "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Both of them led me to question the way that I love people. In addition to reading those books I also, in various situations, had this verse brought up to me : "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. " Luke 6:31-32
Now, I have been in countless Sunday School classes where we have debated these verses and shared a million and a half exceptions to the rule or stories of how we've been hurt. It's amazing how we will take certain verses and claim them as the absolute truth with no room for interpretation, but then Jesus tells us to love people we don't want to and we find a dozen reasons to debate what these verses say. And we can debate it all we want, but to me it's become clear. I'm supposed to love people who aren't lovely. People who society finds vile. People who make you sick at your stomach. People who don't appear to have a single redeeming quality about them. And by love, it doesn't mean to just think happy thoughts about them or force yourself to wave and smile at them. I am supposed to treat them the same way I want to be treated. People talk about the "golden rule" all the time, but how many of us really live it? How many of us think, "If I were addicted to drugs and couldn't take care of my kids, I would hope someone would bring them food or make sure they get home safe"? Or, "If I were a person released from jail and became an invalid, I hope someone would check on me and run to the store for me" ? Yeah, I hadn't thought about those things before either. But lately, I have. It's made me real uncomfortable. I've wanted to tell God that those people got themselves in those situations. He told me it doesn't matter. I'm supposed to love them anyway. I've told Him it could get messy or even dangerous. He told me I'm supposed to love them anyway.
I have the feeling He's going to keep telling me that until the thought of ignoring that those people exists makes me really uncomfortable.