How else do you explain that two of the three winners of the Chili Cookoff during the Advent Season last Christmas were two employees of the church? And when confronted with the ugly truth, they swapped one at the last minute (actually, after announcing the winners) to substitute for one of the staff members. The substitute had only come in late after the initial announcement. Couple that convenient fact with the fact that the staff was hovering over the table where the judges were and there you have it.
Let it go? you say? There are other, really egregious acts that I could concern myself with, you might say?
Sadly, I've seen families, businesses, organizations, and other kinds of entities melt down over far less. Once you lance the boil, the poison spews, and as you sit and listen, you ask yourself, "How do you even remember that? I can't remember what day it is." The environment can be, in a word, toxic. Interestingly enough, during a recent class, Pastor was talking about the multifold command in Matthew 22 where Christ emphasizes the greatest commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself." Christ is giving us instructions that are simple. Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself.
In our sinful and convoluted world, it is impossible for us to understand the simple act of truly loving ourselves, much less others. That might explain the anger, resentment, hurt, and other pains associated with the feelings we experience when we feel as though we were betrayed or unloved. While Christ doesn't say this, maybe it is simple enough to say, "Do you truly love yourself?"
We pray that we see ourselves as God's creation, created new in Christ Jesus. We pray that we know that God loves us as redeemed by His Son and as such, that we learn to love ourselves and others around us, even when they rig the chili cookoff.
Hope Men's Ministry