Thursday, April 7, 2011

What If...

I confess I get my ideas for this space from all sorts of places.

What if...every building was built without thoughts of aesthetics? A bunch of square or rectangle cement block buildings, or whatever is cheapest?

What if...we spent only the bare minimum on everything, just enough to subsist. No thought to style, no special hair products, no fancy mobile phones, basic housing and food, no cosmetics or cosmetic surgery, no decorations only utilitarian items, please. defines Asceticism as "rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity." What if we all lived that way? Surely no one would live in need. There would be no hungry, no homeless. Imagine what that sort of world would look like.

I am a proponent of social justice and living simply so others can simply live. I also believe that a world of austerity and asceticism would not be terribly interesting or exciting or creative. It would be very cookie cutter, except who would eat cookies, because that would be above and beyond the bare minimum and certainly not necessary for living, right?

What is my point? No, I am not going on the cement block building bandwagon. Furthermore, I love cookies. My point is that it is very easy for anyone to judge how another spends their money. It is very easy to say what they should or should not do with it. It is easy to sit in judgement about how another lives their life, what they believe, who they support and how they spend their time.

Let's all STOP right there. We don't know what the other person's story is. We don't know their background or understanding or motivation. We're reacting based on our own beliefs and understanding.

I am going to suggest that sitting in judgement of the way another lives their life, spends their money, goes about their business, etc. is questionable at best. (Unless someone is breaking the law and even some laws are unjust and should be opposed on social justice grounds.)

I guess this is a good time to point out that Jesus taught us this in the Greatest Commandment, to love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor, not judge them. Loving isn't sitting in judgement. Yes, sometimes love is about correction, but if we're not interested in the correction, only judgement, we're not loving our neighbor...and I bet we're not judging our own actions in the same way...loving them as we love ourselves.

In the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:3-42) Jesus is aware of the woman's sins and he accepts her where she's at. He neither condemns nor judges, but instead reveals who He is. What if instead of condemening we revealed the love of God through our words and deeds, through evangelism and walking the walk.

What if...we did what Jesus did?



  1. You're only wrong about one thing here... cookies *are* absolutely necessary for living. Especially chocolate chip.