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Some of the memories I have as a child were coming home from school each day and watching episodes of The Little Rascals and Three Stooges. As I watched these intellectually-stirring examples of television history, I also partook of the tasty treats better known as Ding Dongs. The combination of these tasty treats and educational gems soothed my being after a long day of hard studies. 

But one of the many lessons I remember gleaning from this repeated behavior, other than Curly showing me how to not get a double poke in the eyes, was my mother telling me how there were consequences for eating sweets before the evening meal which she worked so hard to prepare. At that time in my life I didn’t see the importance of her argument. So being the strong-willed child I was, I persevered in my endeavors. 

In our society we have succumb to the belief that there are no repercussions for our actions. We see this being played out before our eyes in nearly every area of life – from sports stadiums to political offices. 

In Jamie Harker's well written article in last week’s Herald, she tells us of a loving Jesus who reaches out to many of societies “untouchables” by sharing a number of passages from the Word of God. And she is absolutely correct. There are so many other passages that speak to Jesus’ love such as 1 Peter 4:8, where the apostle says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 

And then there is Solomon who writes in Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.” 

How does love cover sin? To “cover” sin is to forgive it, and forgiveness is an expected result of love. The best example of a love that covers sin is Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf. 

In Luke 23:34 Jesus’ prayer from the cross hits the nail on the head when He says, “Father, forgive them…” Jesus’ bearing of our sins was an undeniable act of love.

Now being a parent, and grandparent, I understand the love my mother had for me, and the difficult decisions that are to be made in disciplining a child. I found that by continued partaking of the decadent morsels of crème filled cake, I suffered my mother’s promised penalties.

Whether it is from the Holy Scriptures or the laws set forth by our society, there are consequences for the decisions made every day in our lives. Is it our responsibility to judge the actions of others? I have sat on a jury in our judicial system and have even discontinued my watching of the NFL. But when it comes to the loftier things that only Jesus has right to confront, I leave it to Him. For He alone is worthy. (Matthew 25:31-46)

Did the Samaritan in Luke 10 agree with the beaten man’s politics? We don’t know. But being that he was a Jewish man, I would venture to say not. For the Jews and Samaritans despised each other. Compassion and tolerance does not mean we accept, nor agree, with people’s actions, lifestyles or points of view.

So what do we do with the people whose actions or politics we don’t agree with? Who some see as “untouchable”? As true disciples of Jesus Christ we are to, as The Lord says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

We invite them to church, we fellowship with them, we remind them that Jesus loves them the same way he loves us. In other words, let them see what true Christianity is all about.  Somebody pass me a Ding Dong…

Billy Childs

Pastor Mt. Liberty Church

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