Have you witnessed a good fight recently?
Maybe not a fist fight, but if you spend any time online, I bet you have seen one. These days, they exist in the comment sections online. Whether a politically-charged piece from a news site, a faith-based blog post, or anything having to do with some aspect of motherhood, comments tend to be polarizing, vicious, and cutting.
Oddly, outside of these comment sections, I've never heard actual people speak to each other this way. We all like to hide behind our computer screens, where we have endless time to compose smart (or just mean) responses.
Jesus, on the other hand, dealt with this kind of verbal sparring up close and personal in the temple courts on a daily basis the last week of his life. I think that we could all learn a lot from this.
Not about wisdom, though he had all the wisdom of God in his answers. (Someone probably should have told the Pharisees that Stump the Messiah was an impossible game to win.) If there is anything we probably DON'T need, it's to feel more wise. Maybe what we really need is an attitude adjustment.
Jesus knew all the answers. ALL of them. And yet, for the most part, he didn't try for the upper hand in an argument. He didn't lord all the right answers over people. He did not seek the glory of winning. Though he was deserving of all glory, he did not seek it.
What are we really seeking when we try to win an argument? What are we looking for when we want to be right? What is it that we are missing that we feel the need to receive praise and glory?
I think we are looking for love. Acceptance. Meaning.
What we don't realize when we seek those things out is that those things have already been offered to us. We have love. We have acceptance. We have meaning.
This is why Jesus came--to show the love of God.
This is why Jesus came--to make us acceptable in the sight of a holy God.
This is why Jesus came--to give us a life rich with meaning and fullness.
That's what Jesus was doing up there on the cross--a realization that was a long time coming for me. We don't need to win an argument or even sound smart in one. We don't need to put someone else beneath you to bring your self-worth up. We don't need to perform well to deserve love.
We are already loved.
Have a post about Lent or that would be spiritually encouraging during this Lenten period? Link up!
This is part of a Lenten series based on and related to my Lenten devotional, Consider the Cross. For more, you can find the book on Amazon.