Monday, 29 August 2016

Loving the Unlovable

The other day I was standing in a queue in our Mess during lunch time. As I was waiting I couldn’t help but notice two girls standing ahead of me. They seemed very pretty and well-dressed and were probably undergrads. Now these girls were giggling and continuously looking back at someone in the mess. Now curiosity got the best of me and my eyes started searching for the source of what was giving the girls such a laugh. I realized that they were looking at a certain girl who was probably from Africa and had the extremely curly hair which she had braided in cornrows style. Now, I was a little perplexed and then I heard a few fragments of their conversation and I instantly felt repulsed by them. The whole incident gave me such a horrible feeling that I could hardly gulp down the food on my plate and the lack of any taste whatsoever in the food didn’t help much either.

Now you would think I want to talk about how bad the behavior was and they should be ashamed of themselves. Well yes, it was really bad and one shouldn’t judge anyone on their race or culture or anything else for that matter. But I want to bring something else also in perspective. Look at the other two girls in the picture and think about how you would perceive them. Whenever I see them I have this notion that they are probably horrible people. Am I wrong in thinking like that? Yes, I am.

My faith as a follower of Christ tells me to Love my neighbor as I love myself. Now it’s easy to love the girl who was being ridiculed but what was difficult was to even like, let alone love, the other two girls in the picture. Because Jesus didn’t tell to love only those who are good to you but everybody including those who have been horrible to you. Two of the most important commandments that Jesus has given us to follow are, that we need to love God above all and to love others as much as we love ourselves. At the moment I wanted to ask Jesus, as to what were you thinking giving us such a difficult commandment? How am I to do that? After some introspection I got this answer- “I am just asking you to do what I did, what’s wrong in that?”

Seems a little ridiculous, right? But unless you really look at the life of Christ you won’t understand that the commandments he gave us to follow are nothing more than what He Himself did for us. Now I know this begs for explanation! Humanity sinned and rebelled against God but He still loved us immensely so He made a way for us to come to Him and that way is Jesus. Even though, He is the king of kings, was born in a lowly manger and lived a common life as a carpenter till he was almost 30 years of age. He lived with people no different than us. He didn't cut himself off from "sinners" like the tax collectors (who were hated by Jews for they used to cheat them off their money), prostitutes, uneducated people, etc. Rather He healed them of their sicknesses, fed them, called them his friends and above all He forgave them when they became the same people who urged for his crucifixion. They did the very things He abhorred but he still loved them. I can’t find any reason for His love other than that He is God who absolutely adores His creation.

Jesus during his time on Earth broke a lot of cultural barriers as well. He made disciples out of fishermen; He taught the scriptures to the common masses and the so called “religious” crowds of that time used to really get offended by his teachings. The hatred between Jews and Samaritans was long standing. It was so fierce that they believed that they could get contaminated by even passing through Samaritan territory, in spite of them having the same ancestors. Jesus broke that barrier too by talking to the Samaritan woman and revealing to her that He indeed was the promised Messiah.

Now Jesus taught us a lot many things and one of those things was how to love those who are unlovable. We are living in times where we have stopped caring for anyone other than ourselves, where we have forgotten how to show affection. We are quick to judge and we are quick to hate anyone who doesn’t conform to our ways of thinking. We need to change our mindset if we want to make this world a better place. Let’s be different today; let’s find something to love about someone rather than hate them for the things they do. Let’s be a little more like Jesus today!

Monday, 22 August 2016

The one line Introduction

So this is my first blog! Finally!
I guess I should start with a few words introducing myself. So here it goes….

I am a believing Christian, a witness to Christ while pursuing engineering.

So it’s out there in open now. I am one of “those” people! We people get termed as the “Jesus Freaks” or the so called “religious” people.  I don’t take offence if somebody calls me Jesus freak but I don’t like being called religious. You would think aren’t these two the same! Alas, if people knew believing in Lord Jesus Christ and being Religious are two mutually exclusive concepts! (Remember your high school mathematics! Mutually exclusive: If A & B are mutually exclusive, it means that if A occurs then B doesn’t and vice-versa)

 How you may ask; let’s dig a little deeper…..

What did Jesus do on the cross of Calvary? He sacrificed himself taking the whole sin of mankind on Him. Though He Himself knew no sin yet He had to die the death of a sinner. But it didn’t end there. He was resurrected and because He died for our sake, now devil holds no power over us, on those who believe in His great sacrifice.

So you get the gist right! What Jesus did on the cross was so great that even today when we believe in Him we get the gift of eternal life. To have eternal life is to be reunited with God and be in an up close and personal relationship with Him just as you would have with your father. Now we never look at God in that way. We think He is somewhere far away may be throwing curve balls at you when you least expect. But in reality God is seeking people to have a relationship with because He really does love us.

But being religious is about trying to do everything in our might to you know somehow get in the good books of that far away God so that He will give us good things and may be forgive us for the wrongs we have done. To be religious is difficult because you have this whole burden of trying to make God like us through all our good deeds, going to church, charity etc. Reminds me of how engineering students try to reason with their impassive professors so that they won’t fail them for they missed out on the minimum attendance rule. But in the end all is in vain because one can’t do it on his own. You are bound to do something wrong and you can’t undo that. In this kind of process one has to live every second of life in a perfect way to have a clean track record just so as to become eligible to be near God. Impossible right!

But when you believe in Jesus you don’t need to do all the above painstaking things to gain favour because Jesus has already done all that that needs to be done. Rather now you do that of your own accord not for the rewards but because it is the right thing to do as believers and as people who love God. Like won’t you love somebody who actually died for you? And even when you go wrong occasionally you know that God still loves you and forgives you when you repent.

So yes I am a follower of Christ and that’s my one-line introduction.