Some Folks Are Not Satisfied With Insulting You
Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, found himself on the wrong end of some petty insults and lies last week. A friend shared the insults and the falsehoods about Ed that he had heard. Ed thought his friend might have spared telling him what he heard. “Why do people believe that people want to listen to the mean things others are saying about them?” Ed asked me.
It is hard to decide the motives of our friends at times. Are they trying to help us or hurt us? Sometimes people may not like us simply because we are friends with someone they despise. Jesus warned his disciples that people would insult, persecute, and falsely say all kinds of evil against them because the were followers of himself (Jesus).
God sent Jesus from heaven to earth to be both salt and light. Salt was good when it added flavor to food and preserved meat and fish. It did not necessarily feel good when it was salt water cleaning and disinfecting cuts and wounds. Those shipwrecked in the ocean died of thirst surrounded by salt water. Jesus came to clean up or disinfect the use of the law. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law had turned the law into destruction like salt water for the people shipwrecked in sin.
Jesus came as a light to shine before everyone. A light to expose how the law was being interpreted, practiced, and honored on earth by the religious leaders before their people. Jesus came to fulfill the law. He would deepen the law into its full meaning. Jesus began to shine God’s light on its deep underlying principles, rather than mere external acknowledgment and obedience. The law had become dark and hollow, legalistic and hypocritical through the Pharisees and teachers of the law. They kept the letter of the law outwardly for their own merit before God. They did not know the spirit of the law or a need for mercy and justice before God. They were intent on a righteousness before God by their detailed obedience to the law. Jesus came to show that the purpose of the law was to bring everyone to Himself and God’s righteousness for sinners through his life and death for all.
Jesus came to help us become salt and light in his example. He showed that love is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus totally loved God with his heart, soul, mind, and strength, so that, he laid down his life for all as a sacrifice for our sins. He kept the laws of God his Father on earth to fulfill God’s righteousness. Jesus loved others like himself. He knew we could not free ourselves from sin, so he died in our place to free us from the punishment of our sins.
Friends can help us or hurt us. They can include us in their lives or exclude us. Love does no harm to its neighbor. As Christians, do we flavor, preserve and cleanse others with Christ-like love.
Can others see the light we offer is respect and a willingness to treat them as we would like to be treated? Jesus lived as salt which was love and light which was seeing others with forgiveness.