Part 3: How Jesus Commanded Us to Handle Critics

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Movement #1: Stay close to those you trust with you life (Matthew 10:11-12)

Scripture for Movement #1: 11“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting.

Insight #2 (Matthew 10:12): 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting.

Summary Sentence for Insight #2: Treat everyone with the hospitality you wish to receive by fully giving yourself.

Commentary for Insight #2: In Jewish culture during Jesus’ day entering another’s home was more than just a ‘greeting’ as we understand it today. Their understanding was one of full reverence: A humbled respect and gratitude for being allowed to enter into and live within their brother/sisters’ sacred, holy space provided by God.

It was expected that the guest would treat their new resting place better than they would even treat their own. This goes beyond what we know today as the ‘golden rule’ (treat others as you would like to be treated). It extends to a full giving of your being to not only your hosts, but to God as well. This is not a secondary gratitude as if it should be expected of others to take you in. Rather such a ‘gift’ was to be looked at in light of the hosts boldly stepping out to give housing and protection to, in what many places, was perceived as a fugitive purporting a politically and socially dangerous countercultural message; that of Christ.

Thus, anything short of giving your full self to your hosts is no different than spitting on your own journey as well as your hosts’ faith in Christ. Insight #1—Rely on those you trust with your life—was a literal statement that must be recognized and reciprocated here through Jesus’ second Insight. You weren’t just ‘staying’ with a friend; you were being daily, nightly, sheltered and protected in order that you might live out the Way in real time in public as a constant demonstration of God’s will. There is no other way to give back to the honor bestowed upon you by your hosts than to go ‘all in’ with them, as they have first done for you and your message. 

Application for Insight #2: In Insight #1 I spoke about the oh-so desperate need to cling to those few people that only want to help sustain you, asking nothing in return. Jesus taught however that reciprocation is an important part to living in a full relationship. Today reciprocation is looked at as a returning of the types of things (e.g. help, gifts, services, needs—emotional, psychological, physical, etc) that have been given to us. But the point of having a ‘worthy person’ (vs. 11) committed to you is the understanding that reciprocation is not about goods, services or felt-needs. It’s the cognizant knowledge that as they have your back until death, you will also reciprocally have theirs. People in my life, and especially in my inner-circle, know without any doubt whatsoever that what they have done, and continue to do for me to sustain my life, faith and work is unequivocally non-refundable. I can never repay those in my life for what they have done to sustain me. I know that. They know that too; yet still choose to be there for me no matter what. Jesus knew this better than any of us. That is why his second Insight is about a continual humble reverence and respect to those that you can trust with your life—knowing that they do such a thing not for gifts or notoriety but because that is their Godly commitment to live in that role in your life. It is for this reason that there are so few of them; those that we can truly hold tightly to trusting with our complete sustained existence of the Way here on earth.

Label of Movement #1: Trust

Trust

Insight #1:       Rely on those you trust with your life (vs. 11)

Insight #2: Treat everyone with the hospitality you wish to receive by fully giving yourself. (vs. 12)

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Geoff G.

    It’s the cognizant knowledge that as they have your back until death, you will also reciprocally have theirs.

    Interesting side note on this: I spent about five years as a light infantryman on active duty. The Army works very hard to create this form of reciprocity between members of the same small unit because in war, it becomes quite literally a matter of life and death. Units without this reciprocity cannot function under pressure.

    But I never felt confident enough to discuss my sexuality with anyone else that I served with (this was in the mid-to-late nineties, immediately following the controversy that resulted in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell legislation). I believed that I could not fully trust the other men I served with.

    I never was in real combat, but I do have to wonder the degree to which that lack of trust might have affected the squad or platoon as a whole.

  • pm

    To Geoff G: I really admire your post as you reflect about a ‘what-if’ via the perspective of learning from past actions. I find this is both courageous and nerve-wracking. Your willingness to examine things unseen (alternative actions) is in stark contrast with an equally strong dose of realization of knowing that we can not go back and change our history for the things we did. However, you’ve given us your past perspective and an implied possible re-direction for the future. Your ‘degree … lack of trust’ is interesting as I am not able to actually measure in affective terms a ‘lack of trust’ unless there is first a measure of trust between us. I view a measure of trust works within a shared experience that is based on the mental level (I trust the squad will obey orders) as well as the affective level (I trust the squad to respect my place as a member). The ramifications both great and small for establishing a viable foot-print of interpersonal-trust on an affective level is fraught with a myriad of minute, dynamic and oft-times unforeseen factors. Dealing with a ‘loaded-issue’ like what you went through is certainly more than just a hot-topic to be casually debated (i.e., ivory-tower syndrome [aka: I.T.S.]; example: dr so-n-so has a bad case of I.T.S.). It could very well formulate into a social confrontation that might bring about the stresses of combat-like emotions. Such sensitive trust levels must necessarily be tested carefully lest the shock’n-awe scatters the previously built trust. Let’s not shoot first and then inquire asking questions later. Discretion is the better part of valor. Better to have a really good understanding of what’s involved and how to handle the construction of trust-bridges with those who are with you and willing to weather the fire-storm of social and political in-fighting without stabbing you in the back when the going gets tough. Betrayal in the form of ‘friendly-fire’ as though we are all trying to ‘help’ you by accusing you of ‘___xyz___’ leaves no doubt about the double-mindedness of those who seek to de-construct to force you to change according to their scripted version of right and wrong.


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