People who act like Jesus don’t hate. They remember that Jesus always showed compassion on people, especially the outcasts…. the ones who have outright broken the rules. Outcasts are easy prey for the religious. Religious people love to hate “bad” people, the ones who commit the outright sins. It’s so obvious. They’re so easy to spot. They get all that social disapproval and rejection. “Good” people don’t want to have anything to do with them. Religious people want to run them out of town and get rid of them. Solshenitsyn said, “The line dividing good and evil runs directly through every human heart.” You can’t reject the “bad” person and remain good. It doesn’t work to try to be the “good” people because you aren’t.
But it’s way harder to spot the religious sinner. They’re the ones making lot of noise about how bad those OTHER people are…. the “real sinners.” They think of themselves as good, so they want to distance themselves from the bad people. It doesn’t dawn on them that as soon as you put someone else down because they don’t get it right, then YOU aren’t getting it right either. Followers of Jesus remember they don’t get it right. They just know somebody who does. Spiritual people don’t point the finger at others because they are one of “the others.” Spiritual people remember that they themselves are flawed and they are growing and they aren’t superior.
Jesus was criticized because he hung out with the “bad” people. And they were drawn to him. They felt so comfortable around him. Could it be they didn’t feel put down around him? Maybe he didn’t shame people like so many of today’s “Christians.” If you are shaming and demeaning other people, that’s not Jesus. That’s religious. It’s human. It’s even understandable. But it’s not Jesus. Jesus had much more in common with sinners than he did religious folk. Maybe it’s because sinners are much more accepting… much more…. gracious. Have you noticed that you can talk to someone at a bar and they are way more accepting than religious people. They don’t see themselves as better than you. That’s how Jesus is. He is the only one who may be better than you, but he doesn’t act like it. He doesn’t put you down or hate you. He accepts you and is glad to know you.
Something we might learn from.