No matter where you look, it seems that the civility, the finesse the restraint that used to characterize public interactions is gone missing. Stuck with so much controversy and angst, I ran across Matthew 18:3
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
As I look at people in 2022, I begin to wonder whether anyone is interested in humbling themselves. We have arrived at a stage where the notion of people treating each other with grace and civility seems remote. This is said in the backdrop of the pandemic when our bottled up and sequestered crazy birthed in us litters of new crazy, crying and squealing for soothing.
One needs only to catch the news to see the seething anger and contempt across the world. As foretold, nation against nation, brother against brother. Nevertheless, we need not lose hope.
We, the kingdom citizens must again use the mantra that brought about the advent of the dispensation of grace: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Repent means change your thinking and we have been lulled into a conformist mindset with the world. And we, Kingdom Citizens are as angry and resentful as anyone else.
We call ourselves Christian, but do we hold contempt in our hearts for abortionists and/or rights advocates? For the LGBTQ+ community? For the gun toters and militia men? Repent! Change your mind! Our constitution forbids avarice & contempt (see I Cor. 13)
The spirit that allows puffed-up haughtiness and arrogance is not humbled. The word humble derived from the Latin “humus” meaning the ground i.e. clear footing on the ground to understand one’s stature. Jesus insists that we must be brought down to a child’s lowliness that is not pretentious or conformist with the world.
The church must rid itself of pride. If we don’t do it, the next shaking, whether it be COVID or World War will drive carnal Christians out of hiding. Narcissistic, superior, prideful people need not apply. Declarations of people that cannot or will not forgive others who have offended them; your pride, ruthlessness and avarice will be your downfall.
I am learning to deny my flesh its satisfaction, its revenge, its bloodlust. That becomes the price of admission to the Kingdom (Jesus paid it all). Until I rid myself of all of it, I cannot even see the Kingdom. We are called to love mercy in awe of the Divine love that granted us mercy, so undeserved. We are to show mercy wherever in our power to do so. This cannot be done in pride, God gives grace to the humble.
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