Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This week's lesson: new thoughts

"I'm looking for loopholes."

That's what W. C. Fields said when he was asked why he reads the Bible -- and in truth, we all have a tendency to do the same.
  • I know that I need to lose weight, for instance . . . but we all know that calories don't count when you're on vacation.
  • I know we should obey the law . . . but who drives 55 on this stretch of road?
  • And we all know that we should love our enemies . . . but not when they've treated us the way they did!
In short, we all find it easy to rationalize our bad choices -- to convince ourselves that we really haven't done anything that was actually all that wrong.

Unfortunately, other people don't always see it that way.

No, in Matthew 5, Jesus points out that:
  • We can say we were "just looking" -- but we've still angered our spouse. 
  • We can say we were "just letting off steam" -- but we've still frightened our children.
  • And we can tell ourselves that "shading the truth" isn't the same as telling a lie . . .
But if we love someone, then we don't play these kinds of games with them. No, if we love someone, then Matthew 5:48 urges us to love them wholly and completely, just as God loves us . . .

With no loopholes.

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