The Poor, Logs, and Pharisees

This week’s service was a bit of a roller coaster for me.

The first part of the sermon was encouraging because I truly love hearing about Jesus’ heart for the downtrodden- for the poor, the broken, the shame-filled, the outcast and those in bondage. I love being reminded that Jesus is so for the people we naturally consider the least.

log in eye.jpg

So yes, this week's sermon was right up my alley. That is, until the end of the service when Pastor Nate said something about all of this applying to every person in this room and, in some way  or another, we're all poor, broken, shame-filled, outcasts in bondage.

My heart drifted to the floor like a deflating balloon. Not because it's a shock that I one of those, but the reminder that I'm called to love all of the messy Jesus-followers with abandon too. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my pharisaical heart loves people on my own terms, my ideals, my rules.

I love loving the poor, broken, shame-filled, outcasts in bondage who don't know Jesus.  Not always and not perfectly, but I see Jesus' heart for them and my heart aches th at they don't know the hope, grace and salvation that Jesus offers them. I love wading through their messiness with them. I love stories of tangible redemption (don’t we all?!)

On the other hand, I'm much less inclined towards the poor, broken, shame-filled, outcasts in bondage who are already following Jesus but still messy. I guess I want them to have it more figured out, to be further along, to have things fixed. I like making rules for Jesus followers to follow, even if it’s just in my head.

It's a classic example of pointing to the splinter in everyone else’s eyes and ignoring the log in mine. Moreover, it’s convicting to realize that I don’t know Jesus’ heart as well as I’d like to think, and I certainly am not living out His heart for His people.

In the end though I’m encouraged, even though it doesn’t feel like I should be.  The bottom line is that we’re all messy and broken and Jesus has chosen to love us anyway, right in our mess. With love that big and grace so sufficient, I’m hopeful God has bigger plans for my heart as He takes the logs out of my eyes.