Marketplace Meditations 5/5

Graduate Level Christianity

May 5


 

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).

There was a man who had become a friend and mentor to me, but a conflict arose between us that we were unable to resolve. I never imagined that this man would go from being one of my best friends to an enemy. I asked God to show me how I should treat this man, and the words of Jesus came to mind, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

"Lord," I said, "surely you don't mean I'm to love this man! Not after the way he's hurt me and refused to reconcile!"

As I argued with God, I remembered that Jesus, before He was betrayed, got down on his knees and washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, His enemy. The moment that scene came to my mind, I knew what God was calling me to do. I had to wash the feet of my Judas.

This man who had been my friend and mentor had also been a client of my advertising agency. He was a Christian author and speaker, and I decided to bless this man by continuing to promote his ministry and his books.

Did he ever come back to me and reconcile? Yes, seven years later. But even if he had never reconciled with me, I knew that I did what God called me to do. I washed the feet of my Judas. I passed the test.

God doesn't promise that if we forgive there will be a happy ending. He doesn't promise that the man who refuses to pay a bill will suddenly write a check. He doesn't promise that the one who rejects reconciliation will instantly soften his heart. Jesus forgave his executioners, but that didn't keep them from nailing Him to the cross.

The Graduate Level Test is not about getting the results we want. It's about proving that we trust God enough to forgive our Judases. It's a graduate-level course in Christian obedience. But I believe that every leader whom God uses in a significant way must pass the Judas Test.

God wants to know if we are willing to be imitators of Jesus. How can we say we are followers of Christ if we won't wash the feet of our Judases?

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