What if… we didn’t care about things that don’t matter? Really, does it matter if one person likes something set up a certain way and it’s not the way we would have done it? Does it matter when it’s neither right nor wrong, just different? What if we just left it the way it is?Would the world as we know it really end? What if we showed honor to the other person and leave what they have done? Would it make a difference two weeks from now? Two hours from now?
What if… we, in honor, preferred one another? Literally? (As opposed to some pie-in-the-sky nice spiritual idea?)
What if… we didn’t get annoyed when things or events don’t go perfectly the way we think they should?
What if… we said that what others prefer is more important than what we prefer? Oh yes, it’s easy to say that what others prefer is more important than what we prefer, but do we live that out? Because what we say is not really what we believe. It’s what we live that is really what we believe.
I bring all these questions because several months ago I was at an event, helping out where I could, and watched as something unfolded in front of me. It was a relatively small thing, but it has stayed with me and I’ve realized how much I find myself doing the same thing.
As we were setting up this event, one of the people involved set a few things out on a table which to me looked fine and I thought nothing more of it (for a short time at least). Minutes later, another person walked by, stopped, heaved a big sigh and promptly began rearranging whatever was on the table. Now I can’t say that either way was necessarily better than the other, they were just different.
And I got to thinking. What if… we really followed Jesus’ example of not fussing about things that really don’t matter and what if we got really angry about things that do(think throwing out the money-changers)? Don’t you think we tend to get over-involved in non-essentials and become quite apathetic about the things that matter most?
Of course that begs the question – what are the things that matter most?
Friends, we don’t have time to have a fuss about things that don’t matter! So if I ask you “Does it really matter?” well then, just know that I don’t mean to be judgmental. I just know I don’t want to waste my time on that stuff and if I’m asking you, then I am also asking myself a thoughtful question. There is Kingdom work to be done – and not just any old kingdom either.
What if… Jesus set something up and you wanted to move it or change it? What if… we remembered that each person on the face of this earth is made in the image of Jesus and that anything we do to another human being we are in essence doing to Jesus? Would that change anything about the way we treat those around us?
I see that I have hard work ahead of me. I see myself spending too much time and energy on things that really are not that important, not only in my relationships, but in every aspect of my life. I hope that I will be more aware and that I will stop and ask myself these questions before I impose my preferences and opinions on those around me. I want to honor those who are gifted differently than I am. I want to honor those who see things differently than what I do. They are more than likely not wrong, just different. This is one of the beautiful ways in which God created us – we are all different. I want to celebrate those differences, not make them out to be a big deal. Actually, they are a big deal because that’s the way God made us, but can we celebrate them together rather than seeing them as a great divide?
I think I need to ponder not only what this sort of “me-centered” living does to my own heart, but I need to think about the repercussions in the life of the person I have not honored. Am I building up this person by tearing down what they have done if it’s different than what I would have done? Or am I building them up by honoring their ideas, opinions and preferences even when – especially when – they are different than mine? Maybe it will matter two weeks from now – even two hours from now; it just may not be in the way I might have thought.
So the question today is this – what really matters in the end?
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” -KJV
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” -NIV
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” -NLT
Looks like maybe love has something to do with this…