Confession: A Failure in Greeting the Mockers
Part of my recent Bible study has been devoted to considering what God says about love and hate. I noted that one way that Christian love should be expressed is through greeting others (Matt 5:47): civilly and cordially acknowledging even our enemies.
In considering how I practice "greeting others" I realized that there is one group of people that I have systematically NOT been greeting: namely, the "escorts" outside of the abortion clinic here in Louisville. These "escorts" surround any woman coming into the abortion clinic so that the woman will not have to deal with anyone who may urge her to reconsider her "choice" and to seek help with her baby rather than have her baby murdered. Generally speaking, these "escorts" are vile individuals: they have been known to ridicule, cuss-out, shove, or even throw water on Christians in front of the abortion clinic. Lately-- realizing that they were making themselves actually look like the bad guys in the situation-- the "escorts" seem to have definitely toned down their harassment, but I've still overheard them lying about my brothers and sisters in Christ. Seeing my brothers and sisters in Christ treated this way, I have come to hate these abortion clinic "escorts." Now, I genuinely believe that at least part of my hatred toward them is holy, righteous, biblically-justifiable indignation. But regardless of whether my hatred is justified, it does NOT excuse my disobedience to the Spirit of Christ as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount: as God extends mercy even to us when we earned His wrath (see Eph 2:1-10), I should lovingly greet those who would make themselves my enemies. In desiring to preach the gospel of grace-- in desiring to see the ungodly won to faith in Christ-- I must make sure that my attitude is gracious and winsome, commending my verbal witness.