Saturday, December 1, 2012

I HATE YOU

     There are some people that seem like a waste of our effort. As the saying goes," Hate the sin, love the sinner. But sometimes it's hard to look past all that sin and find the person behind it". If anything and depending upon how evil someone appears its next to impossible to truly see the value in them.Also, it's easy for us to forget at times that we all share the same source of evil. Countless times I have failed to do this and countless times I have seen Christians treat others with disdain. Never the less, we are called to fight through our hate and discover the same thing that God sees in us. For no matter how evil we have become the scripture says, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)".
     In the battle to look beyond the sin in others I think we struggle greatest in trying to do this for ourselves. There are too many of us who struggle with a great sense of guilt or failure when it comes to our relationship with God. This kind of struggle is most destructive because we fail to see ourselves in the same way that God does. Consequently, being in such a state often leads us completely away from God. For such a person there really is no point in repentance because all they can see is guilt. Maybe they have not had the chance yet to actually hear the Gospel. Its a fact that there are many substitutions that claim to be Christ's. However, the differences are very obvious. For we were not, "ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers" with things that can perish but by the blood of God (1Peter 5:7-8).
     God gave all for us, He became what we are, and now we can become what He is. There is never a point, no matter how bad we sin, that we can say there is no reason to go on. He has completely invested Himself into our humanity.In addition, God is not threatened by the fact that most of the time we reject Him but He remains hidden within us waiting for us to discover the depths of His love. As it says in the Philokalia the Lord does not save us in a "tyrannical fashion" nor is He "ignorant of the way in which to heal human nature". In another way you could say that even before the Lord committed Himself to us He knew every sin that we would do and still wanted to give Himself to us. For Him there is no sin to great or even a multitude of failures that He cannot see beyond. For as it says again in the Philokalia, the Lord is the "Almighty" and "could not prove unequal to the task of completing His healing mission"(v2. pg246).
     One of my favorite passages from scripture that is similar to what I shared from the Philokalia is Philippians 1:6.It says, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". This passage tells me that no matter how evil myself or others have become God is always working in our best interests. Based on this hate for myself or others can never be justified and this is where God calls us to have faith. To have faith that we are worthy of sharing the Divine Nature and that others no matter how evil are worthy of becoming what God is. When hate manifests the only right response to it is to see God,which is to see God within no matter how much evil manifests. To know that my next response in the face of hate was purchased by the flesh and blood of God. A response that allows this same flesh and blood to manifest in me.
     The next time you feel that you're not worth it or even if you feel this way toward others remember what God did. Remember that He holds nothing back of Himself from humanity. He has became everything that we are so that we can become what He is. There is no evil (past, present, future) too great that prevents God from giving us this gift. It's up to us to accept this and when we do this we become like Him. It might be impossible in our own power because of sin to see past evil but by our faith we have access to His power within us. The power to be what He is.

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