Friday, May 24, 2013

More Wisdom: Am I loving the other? (Part 7)

Finally, we come to the sixth question for any relationship. The final one. Then one that binds all the others in perfect harmony.

Before I go into that, let me reiterate briefly where we've been. Any relationship must be based in honesty and integrity. So much of what is required to deal well with the people in your life who make you crazy is a deep commitment to openness to what God would like to reveal to you about yourself.

Out of James 3:17, six questions stare at us waiting for an answer. 

2. Am I aiming at reconciliation? (Loving peace)
5. Am I being merciful? (Mercy) 

As great as all these questions are, as good are the places the answers will lead us with the crazymakers in our lives, without love they will not hold together, but spin off into the realm of those wearisome efforts that have no end but resignation and cynicism. All of these elements come together in love. The content of that love must be understood clearly. Love is filled up by the image of the One who loved in such a way that he was willing to be executed as the ultimate sacrifice for his efforts, for his uncompromising commitment to his Father's work to reconcile the world.

Think of it in light of the next verse in James. James 3:18 says, Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed. If they do, it will produce a crop of right living. All of what James calls us to be in any and every relationship - pure, peace-loving, considerate, obedient, merciful - get planted to most effect when they are planted in love's good soil. The harvest we will reap if we muster the courage is a right life filled with whole, healthy and full relationships.

And so the final question, the one that draws all the rest together is this: Am I loving the other? That's the one question that makes all the others really make sense. It's the question that gives the others direction and precision.The wisdom of James may not eliminate every crazymakers in your life, but it will work to minimize them substantially - mainly because you will be different.

Ask the questions. The work to answer them may takes some effort, but you'll not be disappointed. Promise.