The Fool with a Knife: Matthew 5:22

God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.

The Fool with a Knife

I can’t remember if it was a few months ago, or a few years ago. But whenever it happened, I remember thinking to myself: “What an idiot! Can’t you see if you’re successful, you’re going to stab your own hand with that knife.”

I’m talking of course about the process of separating frozen hamburger patties. You know, the kind that come in a big stack. You’re hungry, and it’s time to cook some burgers. The grill is heating up and you’re salivating with anticipation. But when you pull out the burger patties you find them frozen solid. So what do you do?

Well the person I saw awhile ago, cupped the sleeve of frozen patties with one hand, and with the opposite hand they stabbed at the crack between two of the frozen patties with a large pointy carving knife. This person pushed with great force while the point of the knife was aimed precisely at the center mass area of the hand cupping the sleeve of frozen patties. The outcome was so obvious to me, how could this fool not see what was going to happen?

Fortunately, I was wrong. The patty popped off fairly easily and no damage was done.

Stabbed by Some Idiot in My Own Home

Fast forward to last Tuesday, September 13.

I was studying for most of the day and my brain was drained.

It was getting late and Kathy and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.

I was hungry, it was time to cook some burgers. I walked out onto our deck and fired up the grill, and those grill smells began emanating from our yard. I was salivating with anticipation. But when I pulled out the burger patties I found them to be frozen solid. So what did I do?

You guessed it. I cupped the sleeve of frozen patties in my left hand. I usually use a butter knife for this operation but right there on the counter was a large pointy carving knife within easy reach. The silverware drawer with the butter knives in it was at least three steps away — totally not worth the trip. So I grabbed the carving knife and I inserted the point into the crack between two frozen burger patties.

I pushed with great force.

And the patty would not separate.

So I pushed harder.

And then:


The patties parted suddenly, and, somehow — unexpectedly. And the point of the carving knife plunged into my left palm. I stabbed my own hand in impressive fashion. The knife went in deep. Blood began to drip steadily out onto the floor. And it hurt. Now rather than informing Kathy dinner was cooking, I informed Kathy she had to take me to the Emergency Department.

At the E.D., they stitched me up and sent us home.

What Jesus Said About Calling Others “A Fool”

So here’s the thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched somebody do something I decided was stupid, and I had that narrative in my head. “What an idiot!” “What a moron!” “What a fool!”

Implicit in that kind of thinking is, “I would never do anything like that.”

But Tuesday, September 13, I did do something like that. I did exactly that. I did quite the same thing I had derided previously.

And I can see now that I’ve been uncharitable. I’ve been uncharitable in my own head when I observe someone making a mistake.

I don’t want to be uncharitable anymore.

It doesn’t work. Those uncharitable narratives only serve to feed my own arrogance. The derision and disparagement only serve as obstacles to loving the person making the mistake. It’s a steep uphill battle to love someone when you think you’re smarter than they are.

And loving people who make mistakes is what we’re supposed to do as Jesus followers. And of course Jesus knows about these obstacles to loving others, and he speaks to us about them plainly. He said,

. . . whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire.

Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:22

Available on Amazon!

Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.

Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:

  • Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
  • How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
  • The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
  • How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
  • How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
  • How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
  • How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
  • How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
  • How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.

With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.

A life of loving like Jesus.

(Kindlehardcover, and paperback now available on Amazon.)

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