I was in a two story office building, it was a legislative sort of building. I and a whole lot of other people were on the ground floor looking up. There were two ways up; the first was for the legislators – a very wide escalator, big enough that maybe four or five people could ride side by side – and the second was for the judicial branch – a narrow staircase. I found it odd, but knew that the Justices could only go up the staircase and were not permitted to ascend the escalator.
I climbed the staircase and went to the people who were in administrative positions upstairs, smiled and asked, “Will the justices be shot if they go up the escalator?”
Woke up pretty puzzled and spent some time praying before the meaning became clear. There are two types of people in the Body who are heading to higher levels. The first type is the legislative – they tell people what to do. Doing this requires no effort because they simply ride their way to the top by critiquing others, by endlessly dictating to them what they should do. They reach higher and higher levels of “legislation” without any real work to show for it. The second group was the judicial, those who make sure that justice is being done and they got to the next level through their own works – by actually accomplishing something. I knew instinctively in my dream that someone who is called to justice is doomed if they dare to ascend that wider and easier path.
We do not want to ride that escalator – it’s fatal. It’s easy, it’s a super broad path and it might feel like righteousness but righteousness is not about telling other people what to do – it’s about doing righteousness and making sure that our actions are just. We are not called to be legislators – God is the legislator, He already gave us the laws. Our job is to be just, to administrate justice though doing the works. We are called to obey, yes, but our focus is to be on the weightier matters – out there on social media I see a lot of focus on the gnats while camels slip by unnoticed. Human legislators only worry about enacting requirements whereas justice is always tempered with mercy. That’s why that escalator was so disturbing – people with no works simply legislating – they weren’t walking the walk, indeed they weren’t walking at all but standing still. Unlike the people on the stairs, they weren’t really doing anything.
To be our brother’s keeper means that we cherish and edify, encourage and support – not disregard and criticize, discourage and undermine. We’re killing each other with callousness over whatever is big in our eyes as though it is also God’s driving concern. We obligate others to participate in the arguments we start with them. We listen only in order to find fault or disagree. We too often engage only to degrade. Our primary goal is the projection of self onto every situation. Those who do not prop up what we already believe and hold dear, even if we are dead wrong, must be dehumanized and minimized in the eyes of others so that we can remain unchallenged and unchanged. Our egos must be massaged and pampered.
“This is MY opinion… MY right… MY definition… MY requirement… MY level of understanding… and you must equate it with or elevate it above yours. You must assimilate and become what I want you to be, at any cost.”
We see our annoyances as His outrages, and so we try to remake men and women in our own image – dictating to them how to be more like us, as though God is like us or that we ourselves are the end goal. But who on earth should strive to be more like me?
Folks always have reasons to justify being critical, but the plain truth in the matter is that critical people drain the life out of everyone around them while giving little, if anything, of benefit. Some people out there have very little life left to drain, and so we must be their keepers. Takes nothing to drain the life out of someone, but it takes real effort, love and maturity to fill them up. Filling people up costs us, it takes work and it is hard – like climbing those stairs of justice and forgoing the easier path of simply telling everyone what to do. Rebekah filled up a servant and ten camels with water from a jar that was 3 gallons or less in size – she knew about hospitality towards strangers and became the bride. She didn’t stop to make sure his theology was perfect before she gave him a drink. We cannot afford to treat each other with less courtesy than that – doing justly towards one another is a tough climb, a long walk, and a lot of work.
Folks, there is a real live person at the other end of the computer – treat them like you would treat your spouse, your sibling, your parent or your son or daughter. We’re a family, and so that is exactly how you should be treating them. If you would howl at someone speaking to your loved one the way you are speaking to someone else, then you need to back off. We are our brother’s keepers folks – that means we aren’t allowed to club each other to death or believe me, their blood will be crying out against us from the ground.