Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Two Classes of People

“The way you have been treated has more to do with who you are than what you believe.” Andy Stanley

At first glance one might take exception to the quote above.  Surely if we are devoted followers, i.e. disciples of Jesus, one would think that our allegiance would be to Him, to His way of living, and that we would live our lives in accordance with what we believe.

It is my opinion that what Andy may be saying is that if we were to define “believe” as intellectual ascent then it is quite possible that it is not reflected in our behavior.  Let’s be honest when you strip the Bible down to its most essential component it is very easy to understand, i.e. “love one another as I have loved you.”  Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  You don’t have to take a class in hermeneutics, Greek or Hebrew to understand what we are called to do as Christians.  I suspect I just told you something that you already know and hopefully believe.  The reality is mere knowledge does not necessarily change our behavior. 

In his compelling series entitled “Christian” Andy Stanley drives home the point that as Christians, love must be the dominant lead foot. John 13:34-35 clearly spells out that we are to love one another just as He (Christ) loved us, and by our love people will know that we are His disciples.

So who are the two classes of people and what do they have to do with who we have become?

2 Classes:  (1) Those who hurt you and (2) Those who loved you

Only you know if this is a true statement for you.  Are you carrying some deep wounds from the past and have they helped to shape who you are?  Were you neglected or abused as a child?  Are you the product of a broken home?  Did the adults in your life fail to keep their commitments to you?  Were you made to feel that your performance in the class room or on the athletic field was the basis for the love you received?

I think you can begin to see that such negative experiences may shape who you have become more so than an intellectual ascent that we should obey the Great Commandment.  What if we wanted to exhibit the love of Christ to our husband / wife or neighbor what would it look like?

Most of us, even if we had a very difficult childhood can point to at least one person who treated us with love.  That person also influenced who we have become, they became a ray of hope in what may have been a very dark place.  You may have been fortunate enough to have experienced much love, be sensitive to the fact that there are many people who did not.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly. Your statement "The reality is mere knowledge does not necessarily change our behavior." cannot be said enough! I think in our world of always being the smartest, always being write and doing whatever it takes to get there transfers over to our faith...with the assumption that knowing more makes us better Christians. Not so, as I've learned from those who love me. Great post!


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