What’s the difference between an eye test and an I test? An eye test measures the eye’s ability to interpret visual images. The I test measures vision; our ability to perceive and interpret truth. Sometimes, the truth is the problem. We don’t want to hear it. Have you ever been more comfortable with the lies you tell yourself than you are with the truth? We’ve all been there and we all need the challenge of the I test!
Life Lessons: An Eye Test
These following verses are very familiar. You may even be able to quote them. But take a look anyway:
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress,and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matthew 25:45
Easy enough to read, right? Even though your eye sees the print, what truths do they represent? What Life Lessons should we learn from them?
Life Lessons: The I Test
The first question on the I Test is this: What is the opposite of love? Most of us would answer: hate. That is not the best answer. Jesus took issue with the people He addressed in Matthew 25:45 (above). His words do not indicate anyone had any ill will toward others. Jesus’ issue wasn’t anything they actually did, but what they failed to do.
To answer our first question, we need to know something very valuable. In Jesus’ day, the rabbis taught this maxim for living:
Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.
Sounds reasonable, right? Not really. In fact, there is so much wrong with that statement that Jesus taught something radically different. I like to think of it as one of Jesus’ major Life Lessons posts! We know it as the Golden Rule:
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
To obey the rabbi’s teaching, one could simply do…nothing! In order to obey Jesus’ teaching, one must take action. Let me say it another way. The teaching of the rabbis could be done by people who were completely indifferent. Love is a verb and Jesus’ Golden Rule emphasizes that. We must take action on behalf of the least of these. We cannot be indifferent!
Now, let me ask the question again. What is the opposite of love? Answer: Indifference.
Life Lessons: Cost of Failing the I Test
This ‘test’ is really about that I word: indifference. As we see in Matthew 25, indifference has a very steep price tag. Those Jesus condemned were undone by their own indifference to Jesus and those He called His own. Can anyone afford to be indifferent to:
- Jesus’ return – we must always be watching and ready
- Jesus’ Holy Spirit – we must always heed His warnings and guidance
- Jesus’ resources which have been placed in our care – we are but stewards!
- The needs of people around us – Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them
- Jesus’ desire that none should perish but that all should come to repentance
Life Lessons: The Point
The other point of this post is prayer. I don’t know everyone who happens by these pages. I know many of you and from time to time I hear from some of you I have yet to meet. The readers I know are not indifferent people. I doubt that most are indifferent – at least not all the time. So I am asking you to pray for some orphans: some people who need to be clothed and fed. I have some lead responsibility for that and I cannot meet those obligations alone. But I don’t have to!
ROW teams helped build an orphanage in Barahona. Currently, we need to complete the Director’s quarters so the director and his family can live on site. To complete those construction requirements and fund the balance of the Director’s annual salary, we need to raise about $13,000.00. Will you make that a matter of prayer? And would you do one more thing? Please share this need with folks in your church.