For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Friday, September 30, 2016

When You Would LIke to Love Someone...But Not Really

Tonight in class, our table ventured into a really good conversation about loving others, and one woman said plainly that she doesn't like some people.

Now, let me say first, I applaud her honesty. It took a lot of courage to tell a group of people gathered around a table in a church who are waxing deep and philosophical about love and God and God's love and the need to love that sometimes you love someone, but you don't like them, and you really don't feel a need to change that fact. I'm serious. That was courageous stuff on her part.

It's real stuff. That not liking some people.

The honest fact is Jesus didn't like everyone either. Look at His words to the Pharisees from Matthew 23.

23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Yeah, I think it is pretty safe to say He didn't like them much. Did He love them? Absolutely. Jesus loves everyone, but He didn't like them. Do you see why?

It isn't because they tell dirty jokes. It isn't because they brag on their champion football team all. the. time. It isn't because they always know more than everyone else. It isn't because they flaunt their latest expensive purchase. It isn't even cause they don't care for Him. He doesn't like them because they make it so hard for His people to find Him through all the religion.

He doesn't like them because they are keeping people from Him. He doesn't like their selfishness or their self-righteousness or their arrogance or their condescension. But it isn't just the character flaws. These people aren't just obnoxious people that grate on His nerves. These are the people who are supposed to be leading people to Him, equipping them to live for Him, and encouraging them in their faith, and instead, they use His name to beat people down and leave them discouraged and hopeless. No. He doesn't like that at all.

Now, I have used this passage for years and years to excuse myself for not liking someone whom I deem offensive, but the fact is, that doesn't hold water. Someone's annoying trait isn't a reason to dislike them. Fact is, every one of us has an annoying someone. Jesus didn't like the Pharisees for righteousness reasons. Me? Well, maybe not as much "righteous" reasons as "self righteous" reasons.

 Now, I'm going to do the rude writer thing and leave you here because 1. This is already long and some of us (myself included) have limited attention spans and I have a lot more I want to say on this topic, and 2. the topic of self-righteousness is too important (and honestly life changing if you let it be) to be buried at the end of a long post. So, come back by tomorrow and let's talk about the difference between self-righteousness and Jesus' righteousness. Okay?

Y'all have a rocking awesome day!

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