So, how can we, “Learn the path to perfection in a world full of hate.” I believe there is a great desire to be perfect. We have always wanted the perfect haircut, the perfect set of clothes or the perfect marriage. It is in our human nature to want perfection. Yet, it’s a proven fact that very few find it and now we live in a day where most no longer desire it. Many, on the other hand, desires selfish power and control over others which has turned them into very hateful people. In a world full of bullies, antagonists and mean-spirited people there is no wonder that the world is so divided. Where they tend to hang out with their own kind developing groups of like-minded people, sharing the same philosophy of life, the same political persuasion, the same goals and aspirations and the same moral compass. These divisions have caused a great deal of malicious attacks one against another. It’s difficult to scan the news headlines without seeing this vicious attack coming from once reputable organizations. Unfortunately, this will continue until we as a people desire once again to find the path to perfection.
They say that the easiest thing to do is to love those who love you. To honor and respect those who honor and respect you. The Bible says, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so” (Matthew 5:46-47). Jesus Christ pointed these divisions out among the people two thousand years ago and the divisions persist until this day. It’s what He says next that points us to the path that leads to perfection. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). So, to be perfect is to look beyond our differences, to look beyond the rough exterior of another person and learn to look at their heart. This is exactly what Jesus Christ did when He walked among us. He went to lost sheep of Israel. He went to the poor, the disadvantaged and those rejected by the religious elite of His day, turning unlearned men into great men of God, as Apostles of Christ. (See Acts 4:13) Jesus Christ saw the possibility by looking deep within their hearts knowing that He could mold them and make them into the kind of men that they were created to be.
So how does this apply to us living in the 21st Century? We see the divisions and may not only feel helpless to do anything about it, but actually join in with fault finding or making malicious attacks against those who believe differently than we do. I believe we have all been guilty of this at one time or another, especially on Social Media. It’s been all too easy to run with our own group. To run with those who agree with us. The world takes great pride in establishing their polls giving special significance to them if a large number of people feel the same way. However, even within these larger groups there still tends to be disagreements and divisions, with some espousing their own opinion. It’s even more problematic among religious groups because they tend to separate over theological interpretation creating an infinite number of secs within the greater Church. Furthermore, their fear of losing their perceived holiness often leads to a lack of love between the groups. Let’s be very clear about something, to love someone we totally disagree with, who does not conform to our moral compass or belief system, does not diminish our holiness. God is said to love the entire world and I firmly believe that His holiness is still intact. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Clearly, we can and should love everyone while keeping our holiness intact. To do so will put us on the path that leads to perfection.
We must learn to look past all the confused and corrupt theology. To look past the gross immorality. To look beyond all the sin and hate. To look beyond the political position or party affiliation. To look past the fear of what they can do against us. To look at the heart of the other individual. To see the possibility of their redemption. That is exactly what the God of love did when He called you out of darkness to a marvelous light (See I Peter 2:9). We do not need to relax our morality to love others. In fact, we need it. We need the Law of God to show us how to love God and how to love one another. To obey His Law allows God to love others through us and puts us on the path to perfection. So, as we venture out of our comfort zone, not necessarily on Social Media, but in person, face to face we allow God to love others through us by following His beloved commandments. The Bible talks about being reconciled with our brother, agreeing with our adversary, turning the other cheek, giving to those who ask, and going the extra mile to name just a few (See the Sermon on the Mount). It talks about not resisting an evil person and in another place answering an individual with gentleness (See I Peter 3:15). The list could go on, but we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in building relationships outside our comfort zone always looking for an opportunity to rescue others in bondage to the enemy.
Dear friends, I cannot over emphasize the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us when we reach across the aisle to demonstrate our love, especially to an unbeliever or someone holding false Christian theology or to the person of a different world religion. We must maintain our righteousness even in the face of hostility always allowing God to lead. Only shake the dust off your feet and withdraw if we are led to do so. Do you want to be perfect in your obedience to Christ then utilize His Law to extend your Christian love to everyone you come into contact, without judging them? The Bible says, “If you really keep the royal law found in the Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:8-10). Dear children walk in obedience to the whole law and extend your love even to your enemy and you will be on the path that leads to perfection (See Matthew 5:43-44).
In conclusion, let me say that most people that are completely different than you and in need of your love are also in bondage to the enemy. The only way that they can escape their bondage is to hear the good news that Christ came to give them a new life in Him, where old things pass away and behold all things become new (see II Corinthians 5:17). The good news that they can overcome all of their emotional problems and even deal with the so-called psychological problems. In love they need to hear it’s much more than just a free ticket to eternal life or a life of rules and regulations. They need to hear about the joy and peace of the new life in Christ. If they can’t see it in you, they won’t believe that it exists. So, let me encourage you to get on the path to perfection today bringing God’s message to the world wrapped in love – love from the Father. Amen.
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