Those of us who grew up in the church sometimes forget how really extreme its teachings are. This was brought to my attention in a recent conversation with one of our pastor’s wives. She shared that since her mother was dark-skinned, she had been rejected by her father’s family when they married. The family put a lot of pressure on the husband to leave his wife and after fifteen years (and two children) he went home to mama, never to contact them again. His wife never divorced him so at his mother’s death, she was legally entitled to half his inheritance. He sent a lawyer who tricked her out of the money and also tried to take her house away. My head was spinning over this family saga of prejudice, greed, unfaithfulness, and lies. In a world without Jesus, this is NORMAL.
A few weeks later Dan was doing pre-marital counseling with a young couple who declared they were not going to have children because they were too expensive. Again, I was struck by the world’s warped idea that money is more important than human lives and that this kind of selfishness is okay.
Jesus gave value to the weak and to the despised (the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the children). We believers know that to love as Jesus loves COSTS something. It means giving instead of taking. Forgiving instead of bearing grudges. Pouring out our lives for others instead of “looking out for number one.” We can only do it through Christ’s power. And when we don’t do it, what a tragic loss to our families and communities!