Flip the Tables to Find the Hope

“I’m not against Christian hope, just using it to sell things.” -Barbara Brown Taylor

Been coming back to this quote ever since seeing it in my Twitter feed over the weekend. It resonates and puts into the words the ache in my heart that’s been hard to express in words. I’ve not written in this space very frequently lately because I truly DO want to be a bearer of encouragement.

The challenge I have been facing is this: How do I express encouragement yet at the same time look at the world around me and NOT be honest about the pain? I am not one who will tell you things are good when things are bad. I am not one who is able to dismiss disconnects between what the eyes see and what the ears hear. I will call it out. I will speak up and say “help me understand.” I feel compelled to do that because I don’t believe any of us are capable of healing or growing if we are simply told “what our itching ears want to hear.” False is not a foundation to build a life on. And, sadly, I learned that painful lesson the hard way in my own life. For a decade after high school I built my life on a false foundation. Today, I can not tolerate deception in myself or in others. Deception destroys lives.

Yet, in today’s world, questioning the disconnects is dangerous territory. And it truly baffles me. When did holding people accountable, when did desiring better out of ourselves and our leaders become wrong? When did dismissing wrongs that are clearly wrong and lowering the bar on a person’s potential become acceptable? I look at Jesus and one of the things I love so much about Him is that he often loved people by speaking hard truth into their situations — truth their heart did not want to hear or accept. He challenged the motives (and their heart’s posture) behind their actions. He does the same thing today in OUR lives too. He desires pure motives and action that are compassionate and words that honor and put others first. He came to be our example of how to love people— with grace and truth.

This morning the devotional I read had the story of Jesus driving out the thieves in the temple.

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.” Matthew 21: 12-15

The verse that caught my eye this morning was verse 14 …what happened after Jesus came along and spoke Truth to all the deceit?

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

Jesus, by holding those who should no better accountable and not tolerating wrong behavior—made room in the temple for the hurting the broken. and their lives were restored.

Those words offer me so much hope this morning— love and righteousness DO win in the end.

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