Be polite to God

 

 

In my years as a Christian learner I've often heard it said that it is a healthy part of a relationship to wrestle with God (referring to Jacob) and that being 'real' with God is necessary for true growth in ones relationship with him (referring to the myriad struggling prayers that David had written down in psalms).

 

But when we meet a person, something is different.

It is natural to assume politeness with a stranger. You don't know their position, authority, or what they think of you; therefore, you begin the relationship on the right foot. Kind words, a sense of caring about the other persons interests, and relinquishing one's need for comfort and affectionate pampering. We don't share our deepest thoughts or pains or struggles, and would never assume that this person may be able to help us, unless perhaps the stranger is a counselor. 

The problem is that we lose this friendliness as time passes because our views of the person are muddied; we realize that they are normal and faulted like everyone else. They become familiar and, like everything else we're comfortable with, we take them for granted. 

But, what if we never found fault in them? What if in every way the person proved to actually be wholly concerned with you, desiring to see you grow and feel nourished and encouraged; to put his or her own life in your service without needing your payment or anything in return. Have you ever known anyone who is like that before? That person would probably never get chewed out by you. Their presence could probably even evince humility because you involuntarily compare your impure motives to his or her unconditional love and your selfish actions to their actions that have made you feel worth something to someone. 

Well... Jesus actually is that person.

But we've become comfortable treating him as though he were not so captivating and holy. We can't understand him, like we can't understand the people who always give until it hurts; but that's no reason to treat him poorly, to wrestle with him, to put blame on him for our own unbelief that he actually is this perfectly good. 

If we really could separate Jesus from the familiar faulted friends we've taken for granted, then what reckless humility would overcome us! To know that this whole time, disgruntled and unsatisfied, we've been consciously disliking our servant -- how he doesn't do things the way that we want him to, and how his very presence evokes this feeling of inadequacy -- along with this nagging sense that since he's been consistent with us, we have a responsibility to reciprocate. Then to take into account that our servant has actually been wholly concerned with our welfare above his own, and has never needed anything in return. That all the while our servant has actually been so high above us that we would shake with terror or die if he let his glory hit our eyes,

we would stop treating him like a servant.

We would start being polite to God.

Like we knew his position, his authority, and what a friendship with him could be worth to a people like us. 

Robert Haddad3 Comments