Reading from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”, I find devotion based on John 13:14 in which Jesus says “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Chambers reflects:
“Watch the kind of people God brings around you, and you will be humiliated to find that this is His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him.” Now, He says, “exhibit to that one exactly what I have shown to you.”
Almost paradoxically, Chambers quotes God’s word and gives me the flip side of the matter. I am commanded to do to others as God has done to me meaning to care for and encourage others. But, I am also given the ‘eyes to see’ that perhaps those in my life who have used me, hurt me, shamed me, cursed me, misunderstood me, attacked me, or any other type of abuse one could inflict on another – I am to ‘wash their feet’ and return the kind of goodness God has shown me when I treated Him with such disdain.
This is an eye-opener to be sure. What does this tell me about myself? It tells me two things.
- If there arises a complaint against another in my heart, I am now immediately convicted that this same behavior that hurts or aggravates me, I have done this to my Father. There is no escaping this one. You cannot know a thing unless you have done it yourself.
- I am called to action to do as my Father has done. What arises in me when I am mistreated now is awareness that God has suffered the same from me and He is provoking me to response to those who hurt me in the way He responded when I was the inflictor.
Who can know me like this? Who can sharpen me like this? Who can hone in on my deepest issues, shed light on them and provoke a response in my behavior? There is no one, save my Father. This life with this God is not a safe life. I am reminded of a quote from Rich Mullins:
“If you want a religion that makes sense, go somewhere else. But if you want a religion that makes life, choose Christianity.”
What do my friends tell the world about me? They say that I am a work in progress and the behavior my friends exhibit are the very behaviors I need to address in myself. My day now takes on a whole different meaning.