So, who would Jesus flip off? WWJFO. Doesn’t make for a great bracelet, does it?
Of course, we know Jesus would do no such thing. He’s Jesus, right?
Yet strangely enough, there seems to be a disconnect between Jesus and some of those who say they are His disciples. I have this strange sense that we as Christians feel we have this love, joy, and peace thing down. That is, when things are going well. But when our neighbors’ dog barks early on a Saturday morning, or somebody cuts us off in traffic, the love, joy, and peace that we claim to be so full of suddenly leaves us. I think too often we are guilty of making love, joy, and peace these etherial and abstract concepts that we are only too happy to hear preached about. Not too many people leave a church angry at a preacher for speaking much on these subjects.
But when the rubber hits the road and the theology of pulpit must be actually lived out, love, joy, and peace are not such easy things to walk in. Indeed, being a good Samaritan and abiding by the golden rule sound all nice, warm, and fuzzy. But the niceness of such things is easily forgotten when we suddenly find ourselves tossed into the crucible. I don’t like being cut off on the road anymore than the next guy. But how I respond in those sudden moments will often serve as a revelation into the depths of my heart, and show how much the gospel message has made its way into my heart and my soul. It is one thing to behave in a certain way when you have time to calculate your steps ahead of time. It is another thing to see how you react to things that happen in a fraction of a second.
Be sure then, that if in that fraction of a second when you are awoken by your neighbors’ dog or suddenly cut off in traffic, that if an outburst of anger, obscenities, and wild hand gestures finds an outlet through you, then you still have a bit of a way to go in your spiritual development. Jesus would never do these things. And we as disciples who follow Him should never do these things either.