I had to blog this while I had this…
pg. 74 in the Beloved Disciple workbook..
I’m going to quote what she said and then I’ll clarify or intro why.
The background passage is Luke 9:51-56
‘Don’t assume they were being over dramatic and didn’t really mean what they said. Jesus clearly took great offense, turned on His heel, and gave them a swift rebuke. The gospel had not reached the Samaritans yet. All those people of age would have perished in their sins. Believers often charge the lost with not taking hell seriously enough, but I’m not sure we take it very seriously ourselves. To hope someone burns in hell is profoundly offensive to God and proves we lack His heart (see Ez. 33:11; 2 Pet. 2.9).
Previous to this Beth set up the background with the charge that He gave the disciples in Acts 1:8 in being witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. In Luke 9:51, Jesus and the disciples traveled through Samaria with the intent of heading to Jerusalem but were not received well in Samaria and as a result James and John asked if they could rain down fire to consume Samaria as Elijah did. They were then rebuked by Jesus.
In this quote from the book spoke of this issue and attitude that is often prevalent often among the believers, and sometime non believers, and Beth spoke of the attitude and the reason why we should not have this kind of attitude, when especially He wants us to have HIS HEART to reach others no matter who they are or what they have done in their life.
This brought the thought in my brain, how often do we in the body of Christ hold onto a grudge against someone, because the way the other person looked at them or even just by being more different than themselves??
I had a VERY eye opening situation myself but the situation was a tad odd and very much a learning lesson for me.
In my previous church, one of the associate pastors ( the only woman pastor out of two) approached me one day and proceeded to tell me that she was very upset with me because I would not look at her for a couple of Sundays and if I had something against her I should tell her and approach her. Well, I was in complete and utter shock over this. Her approach and manner was completely new to me and could not believe it was happening. She said she was offended by me and so on.
I told her I had nothing against her and I do not know why she would think that because we had always had a caring and easy fellowship before. I had been going through something else and was often in prayer that often I did not look at people but my mind and heart would be in communion with Him else where.
I was not angry with her but completely taken by surprise by the whole situation. She essentially said hope that it would not happen again and so on. It was at that moment the revelation that things were ALOT more off than I realized at the church and He then revealed to me about her and what was to come in regards to her and the church (I realize now).
While it was happening He told me to just stand there and don’t be offended. It was like a learning lesson in being prepared for side attacks of the enemy and how not to be. BUT the natural fleshly human side wanted to tell her, ‘how can she handle being a pastor of a church if she cannot accept the nature of other cultures?’ Why was she being so narrow minded?
I grew up with the old world ways of South Korea by a mother who was a South Korean ROK Sargent. It was not often my natural manner to look people in the eyes, and even now and still people get upset when a person would not look you directly in the eyes. I grew up that it was offensive to do this. Granted things change but somethings old world ways/traditions still stick.
Why am I saying all this? I read this passage in the workbook and thought, we the believers need to be soooo careful to not fall into the Jonah trap. To love people, no matter how they look or how they carry themselves, whether they do or do not look a person directly in the eye, and then condemn them for not falling into our pattern of thinking or believing as we should.
One word sums it all up. JUDGEMENT.
I believe Jesus wants better for our behavior for us and for others. To be the shining light of what is TRUE LOVE, and that it comes from the very Lord, our Beloved.