When Life Gets in the Way

It is a natural tendency of man to use and abuse others in order to maximize profit, pleasure, pride, or position.

Consider the story of Joseph and his brothers found in Genesis 37. In this episode, Joseph’s brother hate him because he gives a negative report of their shepherding to Isaac (37:2), he is the recipient of his father’s special affection and robe (37:3-4), and he is the recipient of prophetic dreams promising his rule and reign over his brothers (37:5-10). Therefore, because they deem Joseph is in the way of their prosperity, they lust to be rid of him, plot to kill him, and scheme to cover it up. They are in the process of doing so, until a better alternative presents itself. Instead of slaying him, they find it more beneficial to cash-in and sell him into slavery. With great delight they find themselves rid of the inconvenient one, and in addition they have some spending money in their pockets to spend.

Friends, I’ll say it again.

It is a natural tendency of man to use and abuse others in order to maximize profit, pleasure, pride, or position.

Many are the examples of abusive individuals found in scripture. David rids himself of Uriah because he wants to maintain Bathsheba and keep his good reputation. Ahab and Jezebel terminate Naboth because they desires Naboth’s family vineyard. Herod takes off the head of John the Baptist because he desires to please his bride, daughter, and guests. And Caiaphas slanders and crucifies Jesus because he desires to maintain the prestige, power, and prosperity of his ecclesiastical post.

Many have been the examples of abusive individuals found in history. Genghis Kahn, Adolph Hitler, and Saddam Hussein have harmed millions in seeking to safeguard their own personal interests. The taking of life meant nothing to these monsters.

And friends, can’t you see it and won’t you admit this? To abuse life for personal gain is our natural sinful tendency. In our flesh, in our old nature, we are continually tempted to use and abuse others in order to maximize profit, pleasure, pride, or position. Listen to the the Apostle Paul:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men … They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.  (Romans 1:18-32)

However, thanks be to Jesus Christ. He is the one who saw our hateful and murderous thoughts and deeds, and then he came to earth and killed himself in order to provide our pardon. He is the one who became abused that he might save us from our abusive record and just condemnation. He saved us from our sin nature and from our sin record.

And he continues to save us from our sinful patterns. Because we are found in Christ Jesus, less and less are we manifesting the old sins of the flesh, and increasingly more are we manifesting the love of Christ. Yes, because we walk in the Spirit, and keep step with the Spirit, and are fruited by the Spirit, we are now finding ourselves hating:

  • Murder
  • Euthanasia
  • Sex trafficking
  • Child abuse
  • Pornography
  • Deadbeat fathering
  • Spousal abuse
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Classism
  • Terrorism
  • Injustice, fraud, and theft
  • Poverty
  • Disease
  • And yes … Abortion

You see, because of Christ, we are looking less and less like the sons of Jacob.

Because of Christ, we are more inclined to offer mercy than justice.

Because of Christ, we are very prone to sacrifice instead of serving ourselves.

Because of Christ, we are less inclined to use and abuse others in order to maximize our profit, pleasure, pride, or position.

Because of Christ, we are committed to the sanctity of life — for all life — in the womb and outside the womb.

Because of Christ, we must tell people about the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This is because we are passionate to see all our neighbors enjoy eternal life with us.

Come on church, it is time to love like Jesus Christ loved and loves us. Let’s go grace our neighbors.




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