“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
- Leviticus 19:18
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Ephesians 4:1-6
“We have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people.”
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
First, C. S. Lewis mentions “practice,” and for many, when you hear about practice you think of the classic “practice” rant of Allen Iverson.
But for a Christian, setting a good example, as Iverson mentions in his rant, IS the game we are supposed to be playing, the “game” that we would give our lives for. And it is hard. It is impossible without God being in our hearts.
But have we looked in the mirror lately?
Can we look at that stranger who is looking back at us and honestly say that we have been practicing what we say that we believe?
Sure, sure. We all stumble. We all fall short of the glory of God, but we’re talking about practice, man. Practice! We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice!
And I look at that stranger in the mirror at times, I wonder if he ever read the play book. Does he know what his job is when we run this play or that play? Does he even know what he is supposed to do when he is at practice? We’re not even talking about the game.
But all kidding aside, when we do not treat people with the love and respect that we would love to be treated with ourselves, is it because we do not really love them as God wishes us to love them?
Rather than looking in the mirror and having our own rant about practice, we need to look at that image in the mirror and ask if we love our neighbor. We’re talking about love, man. We’re not talking about the game. We’re not talking about practice. We are talking about genuinely caring about our fellow man.
When we get cut off in traffic and nearly wreck our car, do we think of treating that person as we would wish to be treated?
When someone decides that it would be a great idea to play their car stereo at full volume outside our window while they rotate their tires, from midnight until 2:00am, do we think of treating that person as we would wish to be treated?
We’re not talking about the game. We’re not talking about practice. We are talking about loving our fellow man.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.