The argument that occurred between the disciples is a warning to us all. This is the worldly and fallen condition of man. The worldly/fallen person thinks of self (and even family can be self) above others.
There is often a belief that life, money, success, are all part of a zero-sum game. In other words, for one to get more, another will get less. God’s ways are not the same, yet we often apply this thinking to our lives, even how we “walk out” our Christian life.
Many of the discussions and even arguments that are happening even among Christians is based upon “who wins” even while it is dressed up in caring for others, the country, the faith, the world, etcetera. As you read that you may have said to yourself, “God won!” Yes, while that certainly was and remains true. We often don’t act that way.
As we walk in the world, how we treat others (and even ourselves) is very much part of our witness to who Jesus Christ is. There is always the tension within the Scriptures of what the God-ly direction is as they can change depending on context. There is, however, absolutely no denial of the motivation of all…self-sacrificing love.
Self-sacrificing love is not a bottomless well, nor is blind endless sacrifice holy. Death-to-self needs to be embraced, as uncomfortable as it often is. If our first reflection on issues was, “what is the best way to give myself in love,” that would be huge. Yes, it certainly can be tempered by discernment. It’s just been that too much of our language is how we can get the “other” to do something that makes us feel better.
Peter couldn’t really do much for the beggar financially. He could have just walked on and said nothing. He could have just said that he had nothing and moved on. Maybe even John wouldn’t have said anything had they passed by. Then the man would not have been healed.
- What reasons may Peter have had to do what he did?
- How might Peter’s response alter our response to the world?
- If there isn’t a winner or loser, will that change how you interact with others or think about others?
- How does God’s love influence your thinking?
Lord, guide our walk in the world so that we are worthy bearers of your light. Amen.