Last week, when the country’s most hated man, Ariel Castro, committed suicide those of us who claim Jesus of Nazareth as our Savior and Lord were faced with a choice. How would we react?  Would there be even a tiny sliver of difference in our reactions than those who say there is no God? From what I personally heard and saw on social media the sad answer was “no”.  The responses to Castro’s death from several of my Christian friends, some of whom tend to wear their “Christianity” like those oversized “We’re number one foam fingers” can pretty much be summed up with these samplings:

 “Good, now he is in hell.”

 “Best news in long time.”

 “Burn baby burn.”

 “Too bad; I wanted him to learn first-hand what rape is like.”

 “Hope his death was slow and painful.”

 “Rather someone beat him to death.”

Given the gravity of his crimes and his spiteful ramblings at the closing of his trial, those kinds of comments are completely understandable, unless you claim to be a follower of Jesus.  Ariel Castro, with all his wickedness, was much loved by the Man who willingly died on a cross for him, at the same time that he died for the rest of us. Perhaps Jesus was more saddened by these responses of those claiming Him as Lord and Savior than he was Ariel’s suicide. Why would I say such a thing? Because He made it so clear.

Matthew 22:36-40(NIV) Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘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.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

We may be able to quote the entire Bible chapter and verse. Perhaps we pepper our conversations with a litany of “Praise the Lords, Give Him Glories and Hallelujahs!”   But our true selves are always exposed for the world to see by how we choose to handle the second one. How did you do and do you give a rip?

Something to think about

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