Let’s Get Radical, Radical!

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Twenty-Seven

The title of this week’s article is based on part of the lyrics to a song that was popular during my college days, “Let’s Get Physical, Physical.” The obvious reference in the song is to sensual pleasure. Such a view reflects a great portion of the world’s view of love, the satisfaction of desire without commitment.

I have referenced Bill Hybels book Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise in the preceding seven articles. The previous three articles have focused on tender, tough, and sacrificial love in lives of compassionate and hardhearted people. This week I share with you a fourth type of love, radical love.

Think of the person who grieves you most. You have little regard for this person and do not like to be in his/her presence. Perhaps even the mention of the name brings vindictive, spiteful thoughts to you.

The world might tell us to “Get Physical” with this person. Do everything you can to make that person’s life the nightmare they would like to make yours. If the situation so calls, to use the old expression “Knock Their Block Off”! It is easy to be vengeful, to want to get even, and that is what most of the world expects and practices.

The kinds of Christian love that have been discussed in the previous weeks, however, call upon us to have tender, compassionate thoughts toward that person. Though s/he they might exercise the harshest, unfeeling, non-Christian actions toward you, the character the Bible tries to inspire is to “be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 KJV). Talk about tough love, this is the hardest kind of love for a person to practice.

It is difficult to give to those who take from you. When you feel your friend has betrayed you, it is hard to keep being trusting and friendly. When your marriage partner is difficult and untrue, it is hard to maintain a loving relationship with your spouse. When your co-workers criticize everything you do, make fun of you and go out of their way to be uncooperative, it is hard to take on additional tasks that lighten their workloads. Imagine buying and giving them gifts, even at Christmas!

The truth is, no one probably wants to expend time, energy, and money on such people. What does it benefit me? The hard truth is that it might not benefit you as much as it does who persecute you. Romans 12:20 says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head” (KJV). A Google search will provide many meanings of this phrase, but I was taught that doing good deeds to those who persecute you will cause them to be shamed at mistreating such a fine individual as yourself and will bring self-judgement of their wrongdoings, perhaps helping them to not mistreat others.

Such love is radical in the respect that it is the exact opposite of what the world offers and respects. How many of the world’s problems would be solved if everyone returned good for evil, from the poorest person to the highest government official! If everyone did this, the day would soon come that the world would be a pleasant, joyful place to live.
But, you think, not everyone is ever going to do this, so why should I? If for no other reason, in the words of my former teacher and good friend Carolyn Murr, “It’s the right thing to do.”

Next week I will discuss the greatest character of all.

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Richard Lewis 'Bud' Richardson

Richard Lewis “Bud” Richardson-age 57 of Maynardville, born October 16, 1961 passed away suddenly Saturday morning, November 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, E. R. and Mary (Anderson) Richardson; brother, Eddie Richardson.

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Wanda Lee Eldridge

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Linda Sue Wilkerson-age 71 of Corryton passed away Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. She was a member of Hoitt Avenue Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Harold G. Wilkerson; daughter, Deborah Atkins.

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Joseph “Joe” Smith, Jr., age 88 of Knoxville, went to be with the lord on November 6, 2018. He was a member of Texas Valley Baptist Church. He is a veteran of the United States Army and served in the Korean War. He is preceded in death by daughter, Jo Ann Smith; wife, Roxie Ann Smith; brother, Robert Smith; sisters, Edith Grattis, Sarah Smith and Margaret Gray. He is survived by his brother, Bill Smith (Wanda); niece, Wanda Mulligan; great-nephew, Tyler Mulligan; many extended family and friends.

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