(note: feature image of WFPC youth this past Sunday. These wonderful young people are learning to follow Jesus by practicing love, kindness, peace, goodness, gentleness, humility, and goodwill…)
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. – Hebrews 10:23-24
This week’s sudden uptick in social media angst – fueled by a carefully calibrated campaign of obfuscation – has reminded me how critically important it is that those of us who follow Jesus actually live the faith out loud. Our marching orders are clear, and they have nothing to do with bickering, backbiting, shouting others down, rudeness, unkindness – and worse.
Here is what the writer of Hebrews recommends:
- Let us hold tightly to the hope that lives inside us… without wavering.
- Let us think of ways to motivate one another… to acts of love and good works
- Let us remember that God can be trusted to keep God’s promises
Motivate one another to love! Motivate one another to good works! How simple the gospel is!
It’s as if the writer is pointing out the fact that there are always two options. The first is to browbeat, criticize, judge, and guilt people into what we consider to be appropriate behavior. The second is to motivate one another. Here are some other translations: provoke one another, encourage one another, stir up one another, help each other, spur one another …. then there’s these last two, maybe my favorites:
- Consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds
- Let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe if we commit ourselves to thinking, creatively, about how to outdo each other in our practice of Christ-like love? Maybe that would be a more useful posture for people of faith to take? Maybe we are called to love without the perceived need to be right all the time, or to prove others wrong?
Especially when all the world around us is doubling down on the anger, the hate, and the bitterness.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
(as a public service, helping you smile, here are some shots from the past few days)