I am fascinated with metrics. As a kid I loved analyzing the stats on the back of a baseball card. I still love seeing how athletes measure up to the all time greats! But today, where I have chosen to align myself with Jesus, how do I measure up as I analyze my thoughts and actions? What is the Gospel metric by which we gauge how well our actions line up with the life of Jesus? I mean could you imagine some of the stats on Paul, Brother Andrew, or Mother Teresa’s playing card??? I am obviously speaking in jest, but the question does make me wonder how we measure ourselves in the diverse, pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural world we live in today.
Then, I read this:
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:9-16)
To be genuine. To stand firm. To love. To rejoice with those who rejoice. To weep with those who weep. To live in harmony and not sow discord.
Those are some hard metrics to live up to, but we follow a God who empowers us to live by the power of His Spirit. Who blesses us with the opportunity to live in a world with a love that God showed to Jesus, and Jesus showed to the world (John 17:23). When the world pushes Jesus, or His followers to respond, my hope is that as a church we will respond the way that we are called to live in Romans 12. Those are the metrics that matter.
This is the way I, as a follower of a Jesus, can best contribute to our society today. This is the way I choose to walk in it with those who differ in my spiritual beliefs and political beliefs. This is the way I choose to walk in it, arm in arm with my brothers and sisters, of all colors and cultural backgrounds. This is the way I choose to walk in it with those whose lifestyles are unlike mine and whose ideologies are in conflict with mine. I choose to live in the way of Jesus.