Iím still sitting by the side of the road watching and waiting.† The prodigal has not returned. †
Why anyone would choose to live with the pigs Iím not sure.† But hereís the deal Ė too often we become what we hate. In other words, we start to hate the haters. †
Itís always the guy that preaches tolerance that is the most intolerant, right?
We do something called Organic Church in our home on Wednesday nights and we have been thinking about the writings of Peter. †
Peter tells us to not ďrepay evil for evil Ö but on the contrary, bless ÖĒ †
Prior to that he tells us to have a ďhumble mind,Ē in other words lower your assessment of yourself because you are not all that and a bag of chips. †
Peter also implies that we should treat others the way Jesus treats us. He generously gives out mercy, grace, forgiveness because He loves us.
Hating and intolerance is really the symptom of the root problem.
We lack the love of Jesus Christ. The love the culture has is superficial at best, fake and manufactured, very plastic and it loves until it doesnít. †
Thatís why we donít repair anything, we donít love it enough to fix it.
†The reason we would live with the pigs (stand up if you have ever been there) is because we are not humble.
The opposite of humility is pride and when the prodigal lowered himself, he realized he was actually no better than the pigs and it was then he was in a position to seek and receive mercy.
Donít we want to leave the light on for those who are messed up?† If you leave the light on only for those who love you than you are no better than the haters is what Jesus said.
I was at a meeting the other day (it is what pastors do) and someone who doesnít love me very much was there.† I dog cussed him just like Peter tells us to do, wait Ė no, thatís not right, I pulled up a chair and sat right next to him and asked him how life was treating him.
It doesnít matter if he loves me, I love him and therefore I am concerned about his life and I want it to be blessed.
I told you not too long ago being a Christian is fun and loving people, freaking them out and doing good is a great journey. I am old and sometimes cynical, but what I have found out is that loving is more fun than hating and doing good beats doing evil, plus Jesus likes it when we do what He says.
†I read somewhere give and it will be given to you. When I do something stupid I donít want you to treat me stupid, I want you to leave the light on for me so that when I finally come home smelling like the pigs I can find the shower and be restored. He told me to tell you that.
Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.