La tee da. Just living out my hum-drum-dity-dum life, while sipping some coffee. The kids were probably screaming in the background, but I am getting better at tuning their pain and suffering out while I try to strategize ways to change the world. You know, for Jesus. I was probably thinking “Hum, what can I tweet about today to my five followers which will end all oppression?” when I finally gave into that nagging Holy Spirit which was trying to remind me that having a relationship with God is important. Especially important if I am in one of those trying to “change the world” moods. Gradually I stopped messing with my Droid and the pieces of random scribbled on newspaper around me, picking up my Bible. So what should I read today . . . (i.e., what should I read for this week because I am so lazy I will probably put it off the rest of the week . . .).
1 Timothy 1:8-11, 15,16 NLT
We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
Did you see it? You missed it, didn’t you?! But, sure enough, right there among all those evil sinner type of people are slave traders! I don’t like slave traders! Grrrr! Growl! Modern-day human traffickers! I HATE THEM! I spend way too much of my time thinking about how to stand up for those hurt by oppressors. oppressors just like slave traders. Yet, as I went on reading, Paul was on one of his “I am not a man, but a worm” rants. I know, I know, for all of you Bible scholars, that this comes from a verse in the Psalms, not Paul. Even so, he was going off about how amazingly good God is to save people, the worst of sinners like himself. God in His mercy. God in His unfailing love. Saving the sinner.
I mean, who am I in the first place to not acknowledge my own messed-up-ness? I wasn’t exactly honest with myself, God, or others today. I am pretty sure I haven’t kept my vows with perfection. I don’t typically kill people or sleep around. But even as sweet as I am, I am not going to say its impossible for me to be so dang evil. But, I would NEVER EVER traffick someone!
I am pretty excited about this, because it was obvious to me that God was speaking. You see, I get so obsessed with those who are suffering from injustices, that I forget that God loves the oppressors as well. I am still pretty sure God loathes their sins. I can write all day about how He deplores oppression. I like to boast in Jesus being so cool and non-religious that he would hang out at parties, with the tax collectors and drinkers. Yet I am not too sure I would boast that Jesus hung out with the human traffickers and fat corporation CEO’s. Um, no. Not cool at all, Jesus!
So, can I love the oppressor? That is my perspective transformation for this day (ahem, for this week I guess). If I was to love my enemies, the slave trader would be my enemy. Especially as I have a haphazard personal vendetta against them, just because I care so much for those they hurt. Yet, although they should only be thrown into hell, God sent Jesus to die for them, too. I’m not saying human traffickers should be free from accountability, I am only say that I probably should look at them in a different light.
Even if your not some justice lovin’ activist, like me, you probably have something that still irks the core of you. Whether it is self-righteous Christians, those terrorists, that pedophile they caught by the kiddie pool, your spouse, your cheating boyfriend, Glenn Beck, Al Gore, or the annoying people who talk about Glenn Beck and Al Gore- your irksome sinner which you might have reason to hate is only adheres to a different brand of evil than the brand of sin you typically indulge in.
So now I wonder, how does one show love to human traffickers?