FOLLOW-UP articles represent the further completion of thought — (as if any thought could be completed!). This is a follow-up to the article, Why Loving Enemies Is Easier Than Forgiving Friends. I like it when the Holy Spirit nudges me, “Come on, you’re not finished with that yet.” In some ways it’s an ugly feeling, but not every godly cajoling feels comfortable. Most don’t.
In the case of the discussion regarding loving enemies and forgiving friends — one being supposedly easier than the other — I re-read 1 John 3:16: “This is how we have come to know love: Jesus laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers [and sisters].” (HCSB)
Notwithstanding love in action that transcends our words, which is foundational to our faith, there is a clearer biblical imperative:
love inspired through action is faith
revealing a hope beyond this world
Such an expression of hope is out of this world. Such hope is bounded to the ridiculous. We can see how it lines up biblically, to Jesus’ radical call, but to give up our own needs and desires in order that another’s needs and desires might be met is antithetical in this life.
We’re called to a radical faith. We know we’re approaching the cusp of this holy trust when we do things in faith that seem to make no sense to the worldly person in us and others, without actually sabotaging our own or anyone else’s life.
Radical faith trusts the call of God to the ignorance of how we feel about present circumstances. It continues to cast us forward into the fray of the difficult life. It presents us holy and blameless when we would have some hideous claim to bitterness and complaint.
Radical faith finds it easy to forgive everyone. The key is staying there.
Jesus laid down His life, and not for just one person or two. With the totality of that commitment, we’re encouraged. We can lay down our lives, and for whom is not really the point. More to the point is we’re willing and able to lay down our lives.
That’s radical faith, because it trusts God at His Word.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.