At church this morning, the pastor preached about Zaccheus. Zaccheus was a hated tax collector in Luke 19, but he wanted to see Jesus, and he climbed up a tree to do so because he was small in size. Jesus offered to come to Zaccheus’ house, and Zaccheus then resolved to change his life, paying back those he defrauded and giving to the poor.
The pastor said that, even though Zaccheus had done bad things and was hated, Jesus loved him and would die for him. That’s actually a profound statement: that Jesus was willing to die for people who did wrong. Trite? Well, perhaps, yet profound. Suppose that I saw people—-even those I dislike because of how they have treated me—-as people who are loved by Jesus, people for whom Jesus died.
Of course, this can change my attitude today. But playing mind-tricks (in this case, telling myself religious concepts) in an attempt to change my attitude in a lasting way is a lot more difficult.