Loving Others Only Works In An Attitude of “All Men Are Created Equal” (God’s Love Series)
We all live life in earthly, worldly dimensions, thoughts and attitudes. When we do so, this can really disempower us spiritually.
Paul says not to compare spiritual things to natural things.
When we try to live a spiritual life in God in a worldly or humanistic or natural fashion, check more it just does not work. The way we live life on earth can’t be applied to God’s Kingdom.
LIFE IN THE WORLD CREATES CLASSES AND CATEGORIES
Have you ever thought about how we think about ourselves and other people? We’re not all created equal. We’re not all the same. We don’t all have the same talents or abilities. We don’t all achieve the same social status. We don’t all earn the same amount of money. We don’t all have the same job description. We don’t all live in the same size house, or drive the same type of car. There are different levels and degrees of success — and of course failure too.
All of these things tend to create different classes and categories.
WE LIVE IN A TWO-FOLD TYPE OF COMPARATIVE WORLD
First, we view life in terms of success or failure. We also assess things as good or bad. We see things as either right or wrong. Actions may be moral or immoral. We all know that we live life in either punishment or reward. When we’re kids, this means either spanking or praise. As adults, it can mean being promoted or getting fired.
Some people are good or bad at sports, or something similar. Some people are thin and in condition, and other people are pudgy and out of condition. Of course then there are those who are obese. Some people are attractive, and others are unattractive.
ALL OF THIS PRODUCES THOUGHTS OF INEQUALITY
Psychology says we can’t love people who are not equal with us. Think with me about this. If someone is not our equal, we have a very hard time loving them.
If I view you as better than me, thoughts of comparisons come to my mind, and I put you in a class or category different from me, and of course above me, because you’re better than I am. Perhaps I have more sin in my life, or more failures, or I’m divorced and you are not. Viewing you in this way, I can look up to you. I can try to win your favor and approval. I can brown nose you. I can serve you. But I have trouble loving you because we are not equal — you are above me.
If I view me as better than you, then the same thoughts and comparisons come to my mind. I put you into a class or category that is different from me, and lower than mine, because I’m better than you are. This is especially true if I make more money than you do, or have fewer visible faults. Maybe I am in better physical shape than you. Maybe I live in a bigger house, or drive a more expensive car.
I can be benevolent to you, and try to help you, or encourage you. I can perhaps help teach you how to live a better life, or counsel you about some of your problems — maybe some that I’ve overcome in my life. But the fact is I can’t love you because we are not equals. You are beneath me.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE
Paul says we should not compare ourselves with each other (II Cor 10:12). He says if we do so we are stupid. He says it more diplomatically: we are ‘without understanding.’
Sadly, churches are places where people compare themselves more than anyplace else. There seems to be a hierarchy in many churches that doesn’t exist in places like bars. This may be why some people are more comfortable in bars than in churches.
THE GOSPEL IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER
In the gospel we are all equal — we are one and the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, fat or thin, rich or poor, or anything else. If we see with gospel eyes, there is no difference between clergy and lay people. It doesn’t matter if you have letters after your name or if you’re a school dropout. In fact, as far as the simplicity of the gospel is concerned, it is better not to have letters after your name.
Age doesn’t even make a difference either. God doesn’t care if we are 13 or 103. All he cares about is an open heart and mind, and trust and faith and love for him and others. In fact, a 13 year old is usually more open to spiritual things than someone 103, or sometimes even 40.
In the gospel, “All men are created equal.” We are all simply sinners saved by grace through faith, and that our faith is not even of ourselves. We are all on the same level ground. We are all on the same playing field of life. In the gospel, no one is higher or lower than anyone else because it doesn’t depend on us — it all depends of Jesus and on his finished work.
In this type of mindset it is much easier to love others. I don’t look up at you, and I don’t look down on you. We just stand equal with each other: eyeball to eyeball. Now, next time we’re going to look at how all of this even applies to us loving God himself. Some of the thoughts in the next coaching session may even blow your mind.