Confessions of a Questioning Christian

Posts Tagged ‘The Golden Rule

Matthew 7

Posted on: February 5, 2012

I’d say that the number one thing I was good at but somehow had convinced myself that I wasn’t doing or that the way I was doing it was godly was judging others. I could judge people like this, “She’s a Christian, but she’s being a hypocrite.” “He’s a Christian, but he’s getting drunk – that’s so wrong.” And non-Christians too! “He’s gay, and he his lifestyle is sinful, so I need to judge him (lovingly) so that he can see the error of his ways.”

I still don’t know what this means.

 Here is a precept in three words to the same purport, Ask, Seek, Knock (v. 7); that is, in one word, “Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it. Ask,as a beggar asks alms.’’ Those that would be rich in grace, must betake themselves to the poor trade of begging, and they shall find it a thriving trade. “Ask; represent your wants and burthens to God, and refer yourselves to him for support and supply, according to his promise. Ask as a traveller asks the way; to pray is to enquire of God,Eze. 36:37Seek, as for a thing of value that we have lost, or as the merchantman that seeks goodly pearls.Seek by prayer,Dan. 9:3.Knock, as he that desires to enter into the house knocks at the door.’’ We would be admitted to converse with God, would be taken into his love, and favour, and kingdom; sin has shut and barred the door against us; by prayer, we knock; Lord, Lord, open to us. Christ knocks at our door (Rev. 3:20Cant. 5:2); and allows us to knock at his, which is a favour we do not allow to common beggars. Seeking and knocking imply something more than asking and praying. 1. We must not onlyask but seek; we must second our prayers with our endeavors; we must, in the use of the appointed means, seek for that which we ask for, else we tempt God. When the dresser of the vineyard asked for a year’s respite for the barren fig-tree, he added, I will dig about it,Lu. 13:7, 8. God gives knowledge and grace to those that search the scriptures, and wait at Wisdom’s gates; and power against sin to those that avoid the occasions of it. 2. We must not only ask, but knock; we must come to God’s door, must ask importunately; not only pray, but plead and wrestle with God; we must seek diligently; we must continue knocking; must persevere in prayer, and in the use of means; must endure to the end in the duty. (Blue Letter Bible)

So this commentary says it’s just about the process of asking. Consistently praying for wisdom. Searching the bible, seeking answers, and asking God for help.

The Golden Rule. These are words I can live by. Words so easily forgotten. I think the way we are taught any of Jesus’s commandments is so short sighted. We’re taught all about our neighbors and being good to them. Maybe our classmates at school, or later our colleagues at work. People we run into every day. But what about people who I don’t ever meet? Shouldn’t I be considering what all my actions do to various humans around the world? If I purchase something made in a sweatshop, I’m not really treating those workers as I would want to be treated. If I buy a gas-guzzling, pollution-producing SUV for no other reason than to look cool, I’m not really treating future generations the way I want to be treated, am I? What if I purchase gas from Chevron, which is destroying the land, the culture, the government, and the people of southern Nigeria, I’m not really treating those Nigerians as I would want to be treated, right? I’m not a saint in this department, but I am making efforts. I wish others did, too.

I don’t know what false prophets meant to Jesus (usually understood as someone who appears to be of the faith, but tries to seduce others to turn away from the truth of God), but I do know that you can tell what kind of person someone is by the “fruits” they bear. The way they treat people, the way people treat them. What kind of person are they in the community? How do they spend their money? How do they talk to you, or to others?

First – “I Never Knew You” – This used to (and still kind of does) freak me out. I mean, if you are trying to earnestly follow God, how could he later tell you that he doesn’t know you? Creeping me ooooout.

Next – “Build Your House on the Rock” – remember the song? “A wise man built his house upon a rock, house upon a rock, house upon a rock…!” God and the bible are our foundation. If you build your life upon truth, reason,  and wisdom, you will be safe; if you build it on feelings, emotions, desires, or foolishness, your life could end up in ruin. It does make sense.

Go figure.

Lingering Questions:

  • Why is it so hard to NOT judge others?
  • What does it mean – ask and you shall receive? Because I’ve asked for lots of things and didn’t get them. Then again, it could mean ask=search (for wisdom) and you shall receive=find your answers (through wisdom). This lends to my sense that God wants us to use our resources that he has given us to make decisions for our lives, not just passively wait for something to happen and then blame God if nothing does.
  • What does he mean, I never knew you?? Who is he talking to?
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