Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"Do to Others?"
Throughout this Lenten season, something that Jesus said has been coming back to me. "Do to others what you want them to do to you." This has been begging a hard question for me. What do I want others to do to me? Do I always want others to be nice, to be kind, to be thoughtful? I think I do, but then I wonder about the truth.
Do I want to know the truth? Is telling the truth always nice, kind, thoughtful? Do I want to be left to my own devices without interference? Do I want what is difficult and challenging? And if so, how do I want it presented? And would others want it presented in the same way that I would?
And then there is Jesus as he calls some people "white-washed tombs" and "dirty cups." Does this mean that it's okay to be a bit rude with the truth as long as I am willing to receive the same if necessary? And then there is that scandalous scene in the temple where Jesus is throwing people's things around and brandishing a whip. I wonder if any of the disciples were thinking about "Do to others . . . in that moment of shocking behavior?
I know that we can all justify Jesus's actions here, but it doesn't negate that he said this and did that. I'm just sayin'. There is more to consider here than just a saying that serves our purposes.
On the surface, "Do to others . . . " seems a soft quote from scripture when it is convenient. But my recent experience of it says that this is not some buttery saying that is easily spread into my life. It is a hard saying that has no this-is-how-you-do-it practical applications.
Hmmmm . . . living the Lenten life . . . not so smooth.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes