As people, it’s easy to daydream, right? I can daydream just about any time or any place. Usually it happens at very inconvenient times, but it does happen. I’m sure you can relate! One of the biggest things that I kind of fancy about daydreaming is the “what would it be like?” idea. I get into some really weird thinking when this happens. What if the world would just suddenly stop spinning? Talk about slamming on the brakes! We’d all go flying through the air, probably get injured, whatever kinds of crazy things would go along with that.
However, daydreaming, while wasting a lot of time, can also be very valuable. As I was sitting here staring at the blinking cursor, I begin to ask a “What would it be like?” question. I asked, “I wonder what life would be like if we truly let Jesus live through us?” What would the church look like? What would my day consist of? How would I relate to others? What would be my priorities? How would I respond to a bad day or a critical spirit?
I snapped out of the daydream and really thought about this—I was searching the Scriptures to see if I could find that kind of “ideal” versus the “real” mentality, and this is what I found:
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing “ (1 Pet. 3:8-9, NIV).
Talk about a wake-up call!
I read this passage and think of all the harm I’ve caused people; all the pain. I think about how my bad attitudes probably ruined somebody’s otherwise good day. I see this passage and realize that maybe I didn’t take the time to be this kind of person the Apostle Peter is describing. I hate/love these moments. These are the moments you realize that God’s word is powerful, able to pierce the darkest parts of our life and change them (Heb 4:12).
Imagine what your day would look like if you were sympathetic to everyone? If you truly loved one another. What about being compassionate and humble even when that doesn’t fit into our busy schedule of meetings, deadlines, and priorities? What about truly taking the time to not repay evil with evil or insult with insult? How would you family life or your work environment changed if you really lived that way? It’s easy to throw a grenade back at the person taking shots at you, but its not easy to throw a blessing back—now that’s where it gets tough.
Now to the hardest part. What would the church look like if we all did these things? Well—there wouldn’t be division. Gossip? That’d be gone! Disagreements would rarely occur. How much more of an influence we could have on the world for Christ if we truly lived this way! How many more people would stop viewing the church as critical, negative, and hypocritical!
Daydreaming has brought me here, but daydreaming has to end here. Let’s stop dreaming about the “what if’s” and make them “now exists.” What I mean is lets stop talking about it and reading about it and then moving on as if nothing happened. Those pangs in your soul you get when you read verses like the one above—those are there for a reason—why? That is the Holy Spirit opening your eyes to what could be versus what is. It’s God urging you to live this way not out of obligation or “duty” but because you are redeemed, changed forever, and walking in the Spirit. We have to start listening to those, church.
My challenge this week? Live the above passage. You will mess it up, you will fail. Don’t stop trying though! Keep striving and let God’s love overflow from you to others. Repay insult and evil with love and kindness. Listen instead of doing all the talking! Bless someone! Make the “ideal” life the “real” life you live. Think about it! – Scott