If you have to raise your voice to be heard, you are not living your life right.
If you have to stand up to be noticed, you are fundamentally and categorically flawed.
…he gave no answer. – Matthew 27:12
…But Jesus made no reply. – Matthew 27:14
And yet, what name is known more than His? If you want to change the world, drop the signs and pick up a Bible. Stop chanting and start praying. Put down the binoculars and spend some time at the mirror.
If we really want to make a difference… we have to stop screaming, “me, me, me!” and start living like Him, Him, Him.
Hate, for noble and good reasons, is still hate.
When I was younger, I remember saying I hated someone very evil. My mom told me that was not acceptable. “We don’t ‘hate'” she would say, “its OK to dislike someone, but never hate them”. I replied once, “well then I dislike them to death!” It was a hard lesson for me to learn. Hating seems very natural, but it’s anything but, its a status of the heart.
The lesson my mom learned in her walk with Jesus is that Hate, even for seemingly good reasons, is still hate. When the Bible tells us to walk 2 miles, what it means is that someone will come to us and demand we go one mile. That is hate. It was a form of slavery and societal hierarchy. And so the response is to go twice the distance expected.
In a similar verse we are told what to do when slapped in the face. Striking someone on the side of their head is most definitely a hate filled action. The entire world would unanimously approve and even applaud a return strike. But Jesus shows us that even when justified, hate is hate. So how should we respond? Turn the other cheek. Let them strike the other side. Why? We don’t hate. All hate is hate. All hate is wrong. All hate is from the most evil one.
Jesus has the most perfect response to hate. He called it love. And He spent His life showing it to others. Mastering it in our sight. Letting others document it over and over how He always chose the natural way of things. God’s way of things. The path of love.
And when His story was finished… when He had shown true love over and over again until His whole legacy was a lifetime of love and compassion… He spoke no more. What else was there to say. In a final act of love and sacrifice He lay still while hammers injected the world’s hate into his veins.
Fully loving, completely sacrificed to us, we can change the world in a very similar fashion. We need only stop pointing to the world. Stop trying to keep the hate scale even on both sides and let it tip over off the table when we collectively stop hating back. Show the world a love they haven’t seen in years.
And some may look at the world and say that the death of Jesus didn’t have an impact. Look in your mirror and ask yourself… “is that true?”. And if it hasn’t… couldn’t it? God didn’t put a timestamp on love. It doesn’t spoil. You can fully utilize it right now no matter how longs its been.
I don’t believe Jesus meant that we can’t defend ourselves when threatened. But I do believe that we have interpreted our freedom into a chip on our shoulders that says its OK for me to get mine! I’m allowed to be first. I’m not going to be treated that way. I’m not going to allow this. I’m…. Me… Mine… My…. see the problem? If we are on our knees before the king trying to do the Father’s business… we wouldn’t even notice the disparity.
Look at our posture. Standing at the ready. pointing at each other. Anger filled, Hate fused. Look at the posture of Jesus. Kneeling in prayer. pointing to the Father, washing our feet. Love filled, overflowing with grace. To be Christian means to be like Christ. How far do you have to go?