“We are never called to redeem the world. ‘Savior of humanity’ is not on your job description or mine. Encourage, correct, applaud, and admonish? By all means. But save the world? In no way. There is only one Messiah and one throne. He isn’t you, and the throne isn’t yours.”- Max Lucado
“Finally, you should all be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”- 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 8 of How Happiness Happens as he presents two ways to embed the principle of hate the sin and love the sinner in our hearts.
1. Reserve judgment. In your mind, Pastor Lucado advises, think of every person you meet as a new person. Therefore, dismiss the ideas of labeling or preconceived notions. As Max quips, “Pigeonholes work for pigeons, not people.”
For example, one Saturday afternoon Max happened to walk through the downtown area of a major city. He spotted a haggard-looking man wearing a stocking cap, dirty clothes, and a full beard. Consequently, Max presumed the man was a homeless, unemployed drifter.
However, in talking with the man, Max found out he’d just gotten off from his all-night shift as a stagehand. The man went on to tell Max of God’s many blessings in his life and that he felt the Lord’s favor. Hence, Rev. Raleigh Washington considers this the most important statement in bridge building:”Help me understand what it’s like to be you.”
Then, Max counsels, sit back and listen. Because we’re never called to redeem the world.
2. Resist the urge to shout. Certainly, Pastor Lucado notes, it feels good to shout at Levi. But, does any good come of shouting? Furthermore, is it possible to form and opinion without throwing a fit? It’s one thing to have an opinion, but quite another matter to start a fight.
Thus, if love covers a multitude of sins, surely love also covers a multitude of opinions. As Max states, “We need intermezzi of calm in this cacophony of opinions.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you resist the urge to redeem the world? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Admonishment = high-octane encouragement”