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Cold Shoulder



Have you ever gotten the cold shoulder?  Or given it?  It can feel brutal, humiliating, and dehumanizing!
Would you believe the scriptures actually tell us to give the cold shoulder?  Check out 2nd John.

2 John 1:10-11 (ESV) - If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

That is some strong language eh?  Don't let them in, don't even say hello!  And if you greet them, to be polite, you are as bad as they are!  What teaching could possibly be so important, so vital, that we should drop all pleasantries and give someone the cold shoulder?  John tells us, just a couple versus earlier, though it is easy to miss due to the way Greek translates into run-on sentences and complex paragraphs.

2 John 1:5 (ESV) -And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 

Over and over again the scriptures highlight Love as the greatest teaching.  John even goes so far as to say that God is Love in 1 John 4.  Yet I continue to encounter people who have heard nothing but a gospel of hate and judgement from their churches.  They have been the victims of these false teachers that John warned us about.  Notice that John is not instructing us to give the cold shoulder to just anybody, but specifically to teachers.  In context, he was also writing to a church that met in a home, so he was telling them not to let these false teachers into the church. What would happen if the church universal cleaned house, took this seriously and removed any teacher that valued judgement over Love.  Would the next generation not have a whole new view of the church?

Prayer: God, help us to value Love above all.  We all fall into the trap of judgmental thinking occasionally, help us to be free of it.  Help us to renew our churches and focus on Love. Provide us with teachers that will point us towards you.

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