The theory of forgiveness is wonderful. Practicing forgiveness is hard. The theory of compassion is wonderful. Practicing compassion is hard. The theory of mercy is wonderful. Practicing mercy is hard. The theory of grace is wonderful. Practicing grace is hard.
Why is it so difficult to be forgiving, compassionate, merciful, or a person of grace? Why? Because you forgive those who hurt you, show compassion to those who offend you, show mercy to those who do not deserve kindness, and give grace to those who do not deserve it. If I do not deserve it and receive it, it is wonderful! If you do not deserve it, why bother?You are just getting the consequences you deserve!
The standard is not us. We measure up pretty well to people. What is the standard? It is what God did and does for all in Jesus Christ. That is one standard above all of us!
In the above passage, Jesus completed the undesirable, humiliating task of washing feet. He asked the twelve, Do you understand what I did? I gave you an example. And you are not superior to me. So put your money where your mouth is.
Satan constantly (all our lives!) places us in circumstances that demand we validate our theory by our behavior. He did with Jesus and will with us. He did with the twelve and will with us. He did with the 1st century church and will with the 21st century church.
It is easy to declare Gods love for all, but can be demanding to take Gods love to all. It is easy to declare that God champions the weak and helpless, but demanding to care for them. It is easy to declare kindness to all, but demanding to be kind to all. It is easy to declare Gods caring, but demanding to be an agent of Gods caring.
Matthew 5:43-48, You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
It is simple to become Gods child. It is demanding to live as Gods child.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell