When You’re Perfect in So Many Ways
“Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.” – 1 Corinthians 4:4b-5
When I am honest, I am pretty confident that I know what kind of Christian God “likes.” The Bible paints this picture, with a fair amount of variation from evangelist to apostle, and I have constructed something of a composite of a Good Christian.
Because I do not suffer from the vanity of thinking that I sufficiently fit this description, I tend to think this “humility” sufficient. It is not.
A lot of us spend quite a bit of time decrying our kindred in Christ – particularly the kind who cast ballots for the other side, who suffer from what we deem incorrect biblical interpretations. We give a side-eye to conversion stories that are too convenient. We contrast our own (right!) Christian perspective with their (wrong!) one.
We should hold each other accountable to our understanding of what God calls us to do, particularly from a justice perspective. But as we do, let us never presume to understand or even to know things that hide in the shadows of the lives of others. We do not know the supplications they bring to God. We cannot presume them to be out of communication with their Maker.
May we never forget that those “other kinds” of Christians are still attempting a following of Christ. Maybe they have stumbled. Maybe we have, too, not with false equivalencies, but in forgetting the call to a humility that says there is a story we do not know there. When we show an openness to holding a loving light to the full truth of a person, sometimes we uncover a snapshot of the beauty God sees in each child of God.
O God, how hard it is to be humble…when we’re perfect in so many ways. Love us through our imperfections and show us a better way. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Minister of The Table, United Church of Christ of La Mesa, California.