Tomorrow night is the big debate between Johnny Robertson and Armando DeLoa of Los Angeles. It should be an interesting spectacle, as these two men come from very different positions on many different subjects. The most interesting part of it will be that they both seem to be very strong-willed, opinionated men, who both feel strongly that their interpretations of Scripture are THE ONLY interpretations.
But, I’m not going to be looking to which man “proves” his interpretation, though. I am going to be looking for the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives (Galatians 5:22). And even moreso, what I will be looking for in this spectacle, is for the man that approaches this debate with a Christ-like attitude. Now, you might ask, “What characteristics reveal Christ in us?”
Humility will probably be on the top of the list. “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:” (Matthew 20:27) God came to us on earth not as a richly robed king but as a penniless teacher, a servant. He suffered shame and degradation for our sakes. Are we willing to suffer the same for His sake?
If we are, it will show in our love for others. Jesus suffered for us because He loved us. He asks us to love each other in return. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) The progress of our transformation can probably be gauged by our love for others. And, not just the people that are easy to love, but our love for those who have hurt us, too.
Loving those who have hurt us requires forgiveness. Christ came to us to make forgiveness for our sins possible. We didn’t earn or deserve forgiveness; He gave it to us anyway. He had every right to not forgive us but he forgave us anyway. He is our example of how we are to forgive. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13) Even if we have every right to not forgive, we must do it anyway to become Christlike.
And, for the sake of this debate, where these men might possibly be considering each other as enemies, that Jesus taught us, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
The man that does these things will be the one who comes closest to “winning” the debate, in my mind.