There is nothing better than throwing or being at a great party!
More than the food and drink, a good party has great music, games, flow, and easy connections for conversations. We spend millions, a year, throwing parties: Holidays, Super Bowl, Birthdays, and more. A lot of us met friends and our significant other at parties.
However, there is a different kind of party we also throw. It’s a party that happens every day. Sometimes we plan for it and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are invited and other times we host.
Jesus describes this different kind of party, in the form of a question:
“Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your heart?” _ Matthew 9:4
Some of us have been throwing a party, for unwelcomed guests, for way . . . to . . . long.
These guests have overstayed their welcome:
- Evil (Mark 7:21)
- Doubt and Suspicion (Mark 2:6,8; Luke 5:22; 6;8)
- Emotional Instability (Luke 3:15)
- Greed (Luke 12:17; 20:14)
- Shallowness (Mark 8:16; Matthew 6:7)
Consider the lengths we go to wrestle our own wars:
Entertaining unwelcomed guests is exhausting.
There is nothing worse than entertaining people you don’t really like or even want to be around. The question, Jesus asked, was asked of religious leaders. This was a group of people trying to find ways to trap Jesus. It’s exhausting. It’s exhausting to keep your anger at bay, while you wait to jump on someone when they mess up.
How long have you been self-medicating or entertaining your emotions? I think we allow those emotions, to stay, because it is very satisfying to feel like we are in the right. Why is that we go out of our way to show evil, pride, depression, and doubt that we are good hosts? They never seem to say thank you.
Entertaining unwelcomed guests is expensive.
Spending money, on people we don’t like, isn’t worth it. However, we can spend money to keep people at a distance. We can use money to justify our position in a relationship and to really show people that we’ve made it and we don’t need anyone else. It’s another way to self-medicate.
Entertaining unwelcomed guests is our problem.
This party takes place in the human heart. For Jesus, the heart was the throne of all of our decision making. Jesus asks a question and teaches, in the same moment, that evil comes out of the heart. The problem isn’t out there. We can’t blame out environment, the way other people treated us, or how we were dealt a bad hand.
It’s time we turned down the music, turned off the lights, and tell our unwelcome guests to leave.
Ask yourself the difficult question – How is life really going? Are you better off entertaining evil, anger, depression, anxiety, or suspicion in the living room of your heart?
There’s a willful attitude to shutting down this party. It’s easier to self-medicate when those thoughts stroke our ego because they don’t really want to leave.
There’s an entire entourage that wants to party and dance on the floors of our heart – peace, love, grace, willingness, and more. This is the work of the Gospel and it happens when we come to the realization that throwing parties for unwelcomed guests . . . isn’t worth it.