Around 1,000 years ago, Viking Leif Ericson landed on the east coast of North America and began a colony called Vineland. Although the Vikings were fierce warriors, they had a difficult time with the Native Americans.
The Vikings were confused by the Indians and believed that they were often demons in disguise. The problem of distinguishing a real Indian from a demon was simple: Authenticity was established by blood. A real Indian would bleed when stabbed while a demon would disappear.
We can verify a Christian with a similar test of authenticity. When a Christian is “stabbed,” he bleeds love. This is especially true when wounded by other believers. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 niv).
Love is the core of Christianity. Everything we do must represent the love demonstrated by God towards us. This means that we should be genuine in our relationships. No masks, facades, or pretenses. We are to be authentic with each other.
Authenticity contains the idea of humility and honesty in how we present ourselves and how we respond to others. We are to be people experiencing the ongoing transformation of God’s Spirit, Word, and truth conforming us into His image.
Blood and guts questions:
- How does the aspect of bleeding love differ from the way we have been trained by our culture to respond to “stabbings”?
- What emotions and attitudes bleed out of you when stabbed emotionally by another? How would the people you live and work with answer this question about you?
- How can you authentically bleed love when your attacker needs to be confronted?
I invite you to leave your knives, swords, guns, answers, comments, and insights in the blue comment link below.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
This post is reprinted from my book, “Help, I’m Stuck With These People For the Rest of Eternity!”