Six Words — September 25, 2011



I have written and published eleven books.  That’s a lot of ideas and stories. As of today, I have written 1,280 essays for jonathots–hundreds of thousands of words. Don’t you think, in that entire collection and body of work, there are things that I have written that I either no longer believe in the same way, or maybe wish I could edit?  Especially when you consider that I started writing when I was eighteen years of age, and now I’m … well, I’m not.  Eighteen, that is.

Just think of yourself. Do you believe different things today than you did ten years ago?  Would you say them differently? So I imagine when you look at sixty-six books that were written for the Bible–by so many different authors–it isn’t difficult to comprehend that some of the things they thought in one moment might have matured as they got a little older, a little smarter or a little closer to God.

You know, it doesn’t take away from the inspiration of a work to admit that it is evolving towards greater understanding. So as I come before you today and I realize my time on earth is short, I would like to take my eleven books, 1,280 jonathots, and, if you don’t mind, sixty-six books from the Bible and break them down into a single sentence that you can take along on your journey that sums up everything important that needs to be said.

Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s more like a short order–an abbreviation of the beauty of truth. Jesus broke down all the law and prophets into “love your neighbor as yourself.”  But now that sounds just like a good idea, or something we ask God to forgive us for–because we don’t accomplish it. Time marches on. We need new marching orders.

So taking that great summary that Jesus said of “loving your neighbor as yourself,” let me give you a new breakdown, a new simplification and a new way of saying what is closest to the heart of God. What do I believe God would say if He had one statement to make to all of us?  Here you go:

No one is better than anyone else.

The only time we really get ourselves in trouble is when we try to be superior to other people and end up just being human–and that sense of humanity makes us feel like we fail.  Isn’t that sad? It’s like a dog being ashamed because it barks or a frog apologizing for its croak–or a flower blushing over its blossom. We’re humans. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it–because God was not ashamed to either make us or save us.  But feeling superior is no way to be human.  Likewise, feeling inferior makes you sick in your body and your soul.

No, the only way to live is to know that no one is better than anyone else.

There are no chosen people because God is no respecter of persons. There isn’t a “super race” because color doesn’t matter. Gender is just pure foolishness and age just makes us older.  Here’s the message: no one is better than anyone else.  Just take one day of your life and allow yourself to believe this truth and see if the tension, pressure, stress, fear and hatred don’t just simply vanish from your existence.

If the church wants to make a difference, we cannot act like we’re better than the world.  The only way to be the light of the world is to enlighten people with the knowledge that no one is better than anyone else.

So summing up sixty-six books, let me use a mere six words to give you a truth that is much easier to live with: no one is better than anyone else.

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