We live in a quick-fix society. If we want a quick lunch, we eat fast food. If we want a quick home-cooked meal, we make Stouffer’s lasagna or instant rice in our microwaves. If we want a quick marriage, we go to Vegas. If we want to change our TV channel quickly, we use the remote control. We have a quick fix for just about everything — except people.
Being a Christian is not really difficult if you don’t have to deal with people. But then what do you do with those pesky scriptures that ask you to “love your neighbor” (Mark 12:31), “love your family” (Ephesians 5:25), “love one another” (John 13:34), and yea verily — even “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:43)? Still, I wish I had a remote-control gizmo I could just point at people who irritate me and “quick fix” them.
I would zap the woman ahead of me in the ten items or less lane who has 70 products in her cart. She always acts clueless, but I know she’s doing it deliberately. I would zap the boss taking credit for my hard work and the self-appointed counselor giving me unwanted advice about my children when his are wreaking havoc.
I would zap the know-it-all wanting me to respect his opinion while he discards mine and the pessimist refusing to count his blessings. I would zap those thinking their likes and dislikes are the same as God’s. I would zap the self-righteous, rude, thoughtless, humorless, nosey, and those who make me feel unvalued, unappreciated, or unwanted.
What fun I would have “quick-fixing” people!
However, Jesus didn’t come to “quick-fix” people; he came to redeem them.
Fortunately for all us, God does not look at people through human eyes. In biblical times people saw Peter as impetuous or impulsive, James and John (sons of thunder) as angry and Thomas as lacking faith. God saw beyond outward appearances. It mattered not if people were tax collectors, women of ill repute, poor, rich, diseased or just plain annoying; God saw them all as his beloved children. And that’s how he sees you and me—and everyone I would like to zap.
Actually, God loves all of us so much that he gave his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Jesus loves us so much he gave his life (John 3:16-17). He gave it for all of us. Although I hate to admit it, this includes each and everyone who irritates me. God loves them and so should I. That doesn’t mean I have to condone everything they do, but it’s not my job to “fix” them. If they need to be “fixed,” I guess I’ll let God do it his way.
By Barbara Dahlgren