Be careful to treat others in the same way you’d want them to treat you… Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
Leads To Life – The Roads and Gates Series – Part 6
It’s interesting, and probably not at all coincidental, that Matt 7:12 and Matt 7:13 are right next to each other:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Perhaps the narrow and difficult way, the one that leads to life, is more about living in unity with our fellow man, than living up to a stringent set of rules.
Perhaps it’s more like:
“If you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you— at the cost of your own life— what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul?” (Matt 16:25-26).
“So everyone, come to me! Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” (Matt 11:28-29).
“So then, forsake your worries! Why would you say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ ‘What will we wear?’ For that is what the unbelievers chase after. Doesn’t your heavenly Father already know the things your bodies require? So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” (Matt 6:31-33).
“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and invite you in? When did we see you poorly clothed and cover you? When did we see you sick and tenderly care for you, or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them,
‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’” (Matt 25:37-40).
The small gate and the narrow road; the way that seems tight and hard, difficult and almost impossible; is the way of Christ. The way of faith, hope and love; forgiveness and redemption; compassion and unity. It's a subversion of the dominant culture of suppression, control, and security, and lives into the margins and the edges, drawing everyone in close.
How do we live that out? Well, if it were easy, I’d be able to tell you.
I think it starts by being humble and learning how to surrender. Learning to listen and look, rather than shout and demand. I think it starts with repentance and hunger than “me first” and “I’m right.” I think it begins by bringing the marginalized lovingly right into the centre. By understanding you belong, and so does everyone else.
We can only live into it. Learning as we go. Willing, humble and determined to find that abundant life of Christ, the joy that exists between the Trinity of the Divine, us, and others.
Written by Lizzy Milani
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