Yesterday, the sermon was over 1 John 3:11-24, which is subtitled “Love One Another.” To kind of get things started, Ken (the pastor) passed around a basket that contained different questions about love. We each drew one, then shared our reflections. I have to admit I found my eyes glazing over slightly until someone shared the question:
Would you rather be remembered as being right or as being loving?
Ouch! Of course I know what my answer should be. In the grand scheme of things, how important is being proven right, really? But does my life show others that I think being loving is more important? In all honesty… probably not. It’s easy to get on my high horse rather than getting my hands dirty when I see the stupidity of people around me. One of my most-asked questions is, “Why would you do that?” by which I mean, “Why would any sane, right-thinking person do what you just did?” Of course I wouldn’t do something that stupid. I, after all, am right.
Being old-fashioned, I like to look at Jesus for inspiration at moments like this. How is He remembered?
That was kind of a hard one at first, honestly. I mean, He was right. We, His followers, live our entire lives based upon the assumption that He was right. However, everyone–His followers and skeptics alike–remember Him as being loving. Regardless of whether people believe Jesus is the Son of God, they know He died an excruciating death because He believed His sacrifice could save others. Even skeptics remember the man who taught us to love one another, who associated with people that polite society rejected, who healed the poor and fed the hungry.
I have no excuse then. This will be a hard lesson to apply, but it’s one I won’t likely forget.