In Real Life

“The Lord opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5b, quoting Proverbs 3:34 NLT

Great wisdom can be found in unexpected places, if you pay attention. I stumbled on this little gem near the Lexington Medical Center – maybe you’ve passed this church too if you’re from the midlands and frequent Sunset Boulevard.

It reminds me of a situation while sitting by the campfire with my family in Pennsylvania last week. Shortly after the El Paso shooting news came out – my daughter shared it and expressed her devastation. She was horrified at the shootings, just as most people are – but she was also empathizing with the many injured that went unreported because of their immigration status. Due to recent ICE raids, many avoid hospitals – even when they need it most.

She was heart-broken…so were we.

Immigration, mental health, gun control, racism and so on are complicated issues. Regardless of your stand on any of these or a host of others – there is a common denominator.

People; people who are part of God’s creation.
People that want to be heard; want to be understood; want to be loved.

Every major faith practice has teachings that promote balance and harmony among humanity. As Christians, we express this idea through the greatest and second greatest commands: to love God with all we got – with all our heart, soul and strength; and to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:27).

Interestingly, this was not new – it is how God planned it all along. Jesus taught these ideas from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 – saying that all the Law and Prophets depend on it! So, the very same sacred texts that Islam and Judaism hold true to be true – everything taught to that point depend on those two things. They are the greatest!

The best wisdom can only be effective if applied to your life. When faced with adversity and complicated circumstances, we cannot predict how others will respond but we can manage our response. I invite you to humbly listen and try to understand things from others’ lens before you dig and take a position on one of these issues, or any issue – trying desperately to get others to see things your way.

And, always remember to do it with a loving heart.