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Monday, 17 October 2016

1 John 3:10

This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

We make our parentage known by our behaviour. In Greek, righteousness and justice are synonymous, and God defines them both. God is the one who determines what is right and what is just. This is a little tricky to live with. Adam and Eve certainly didn't like it; they wanted to be like God is his ability to determine what is good and what is evil, but God only ever intended them to be like him in his ability to love.

I evaluate everything. I am on an endless quest to determine what is and isn't meaningful, what is and isn't good. I can't help myself. Green is better than blue. Cherries and berries squash is better than summer fruits. Lazy Sunday is the superior coffee. This profession is more meaningful than that one. His attitude towards money is more or less greedy than mine. Her thighs are skinnier than mine so maybe I won't talk to her. Talking to him makes me feel insecure because I haven't achieved as much with my thirty years so I will avoid him. And unending contruction of hierarchies; an unceasing game of judgement.

But I am not the judge.

What is right is determined by God, not me. And what God determines to be right is love. Doing what is right is equated with loving one another. What God most approves of, and thus what most identifies us as belonging to him, is our capacity to love. Not just any love either: agape love. Unconditional. Unjudging. Unevaluating. The ability to love one another not based on whether or not someone can give something back. Love without expectation or exchange. Love that encompasses even our enemies. Love that looks like calvary. Love that makes no sense whatsoever without first encountering that kind of love for ourselves.

"Jesus calls his followers to love, to love one another as he loves them; not just to love others as one loves oneself. He proposes something new: to love others with the very love of God; to see them with the eyes of the Lord. And we can only see and love them like that if we ourselves have experienced Jesus loving us with a liberating love." 


(Jean Vanier, Community and Growth)

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