Oct 27, 2020
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Mat 5:38-48
“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1Pe 3:9)).
The spiritual wholeness that Christ requires of those who are redeemed is more than just morality. Jesus is seeking a changed heart. That results in a changed spirit, a new attitude. As servants of Christ, our lives aren’t just morally correct, but also full and overflowing with His love and His life.
Ravi Zacharias tells a story in his book “The Grand Weaver” that clarifies this point and helps us to understand the deep change that redemption brings. This change is far more than moral exactitude or strict adherence to a moral code.
A young woman approached Ravi at a conference and asked to talk to him privately. She was bitter. She said she had a beautiful mother. But her father did not have the same admirable looks. Their marriage had been arranged. Throughout their married life, her father resented his wife’s looks and the many compliments she got for her beauty.
His jealousy finally took him beyond resentment. He developed fears that some other man might lure her away from him. So he made plans to snuff out the possibility. One day while he was talking to his wife, he grabbed a bottle of acid, flung the contents in her face, and fled. In an instant, the acid turned her beauty into a horrendous scar.
Twenty years had passed since the incident when the girl approached Ravi. She was as bitter as ever against her father. She shared with Ravi that just a few days before their conversation, her mother, who had raised the family, heard from her husband. He was dying of cancer and living alone. He wondered if she would take him back and care for him in the last stages of his illness.
The audacious plea had outraged the young woman, but her mother, now a devout follower of Christ, pled with her children to let her take him back to care for him as he prepared to die.
Here is Ravi’s response to the story:
Here we see the elements of the fall of man, the redeemed heart, and the difference between morality and redemption.
- Morality alone would dictate that he gets what he deserves. A redeemed heart says, “Let me bind up his wounds because what needs attention is his soul.”
- Morality alone says, “There is nothing reasonable about his request.” The redeemed heart says, “Mercy does not keep a ledger.”
- Morality says, “It’s all about whether you think it’s right or wrong.” The redeemed heart says, “What would Jesus do?”
- Morality says, “Make your own judgments.” The redeemed heart says, “Don’t make a judgment unless you are willing to be judged by the same standard.”
~ James Baer