Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oblivious to the Obvious

Look, it happens to everyone sooner or later. It’s embarrassing, it’s awkward and if you haven’t done it yet, you will at some point. One of these days, you’ll forget to hike up that zipper and someone will bust you. The best you can hope for is that when your time comes, you get it over with among friends. I mean, what if you were some big executive giving a keynote address to a group of would be investors? What if it was your first day as the new White House Press Secretary? Although, I guess that guy has the big presidential podium… I was in a men’s small group one time where the leader had to turn to one of the other guys and say, “Brother, this is an accountability group, right? Well, I feel it’s my responsibility as your brother in Christ to hold you accountable and tell you to XYZ.”

I think the thing that’s so awful about a situation like that is being made suddenly aware of something that everyone else saw about you, which you didn’t. It’s like the Snickers commercial from a few years ago where a bald guy made a toupee out of Snickers candy bars. All of his coworkers gathered around his desk to confront him saying, “Umm.. Steve, we just want to let you know, we know you’re bald.” Steve tried to look surprised, as the girl said, “We think you should stop wearing the Snickers.” Steve managed a weak chuckle and said, “What do you mean?” And the girl said, “It’s not fooling anyone.” The commercial ends with a crying Steve alone in his car removing the Snickers hat from his bald head.

What if there was something glaring and obvious about my life that was out of whack and everyone saw it but me? What if the most significant thing about me was out of place and I didn’t even know it?

In one of the most famous passages in all of Scripture, the Apostle Paul tells us that no matter how mature we think we are, no matter how much ministry we think we’ve got going on, no matter how passionate we are about the Kingdom of God or how much we sacrifice for it, if we don’t love people, we are nothing. In 1 Corinthians 13, he says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

You see, no matter who I think I am, if there is even one person that I hate or can’t stand, I am vastly out of touch with my own struggling spiritual state. Love is the single most important thing, and whether or not I love people is the single most important thing about me. If I hate anyone at all, the rest of my so-called spiritual accomplishments and maturity are immaterial compared to that one fact. If I don’t love, that issue is the single most important thing about me, whether or not I realize it. But if love is my goal, and the law of love my guiding principal, all the rest of it will fall right into place. I don’t want to walk around with some obvious and awkward misstep that I am painfully unaware of! I want to know who I am and where I stand, and the thing I want more and more is simply to grow to be more like Jesus, the Lord of Love.

P.S. wanna see that Snickers Commercial? Click here:

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