The conversation was frustrating. A friend was describing to me how someone close to them had treated them unfairly.
“The next time this comes up, I’m going to dish back to them some of what they just handed out to me.”
“Do you think that’s the biblical thing to do?” I asked. “It might seem like the logical thing or the reasonable thing or the the thing you feel justified in doing, but do you think it’s the biblical thing?”
“Were you even listening?” my friend challenged. “Did you hear how he treated me?”
“What I’m asking you to do right now,” I countered, ” is to listen to yourself. I know you were raised in the church. You know what the Bible says. You say you believe it. But can you tell me where your faith actually intersects with your life on a day-to-day basis? Because right now you’re justifying living by a standard of fairness, rather than the standard we’re called to as believers. Start asking yourself some tough questions about what your life says about what you really believe.”
I thought about ducking as I waited for the swing. It never came. What did come was a prolonged silence.
The reality of our faith collides with the injustice of a sinful world in our self-talk–the place where we decide whether or not to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and to love others as ourselves.
Even when life stinks. Perhaps even looking for ways to love God and others most when life stinks.