How to Not Hate a Jerkface

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Today’s Scripture: John 13

Thirty-one years ago, America was introduced to the term jerkface when Bart Simpson confronted bully Jimbo Jones. Bart was tired of putting up with Jimbo’s obnoxious and unlikable behavior. Emboldened by the backing of the 25 greyhounds his family recently rescued, he was ready to call Jimbo out for what he was.

Bart chose these words: “Hey, jerkface! You have the face of a jerk!”

While you may have never used these words to describe someone, chances are you have, or have had, someone in your life who earned that name. Someone who made your days and maybe even your life more difficult and unpleasant than they needed to be.

It’s easy to wish the worst on the jerkfaces in our lives. As we deal with their obnoxious and unlikable behavior toward us, our hearts can grow hard toward them. It can even move to the point of hate. Feeling that way may seem justified, and it may even feel good, but God has called us to treat them differently than that. We see this in the theme verse for our current series.

Ephesians 4:2
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

This past weekend, Ben helped us begin to see how we can live this verse out, starting with looking at our perspective—because our perspective may be right, but it might not be complete. If we take time and ask ourselves a few questions before we hate, we can gain perspective and treat them with love instead.

Here are four questions Ben shared with us this past weekend that we can ask before hating a Jerkface:

  1. What matters most?
  2. What is really true here?
  3. How do they see it?
  4. What might God be up to?

As I read today’s scripture passage, I am reminded that Jesus is the ultimate example of how to treat others. He was humble, gentle, and patient with those closest to him and to those who wished to kill him. He knew what God was up to through it all and had a complete perspective that allowed him to love others. By following his lead, we can learn to love the jerkfaces in our lives.

What tension point in your life do you need to spend time getting perspective on this week?

When it comes to treating others with humility, gentleness and patience, what is the example Jesus give us in John 13 to follow?

Next Steps:
As we continue with the book of John over the next week, pay attention to how Jesus loved others who treated him poorly.

Dear God, thank you for the example you gave us through Jesus on how to treat those who do not treat us well. Jesus was rejected, beaten, crucified and through it all it loved those who hated him. Help us grow in our love for others and to stop and see where you are working in our lives. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.

This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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2 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Thanks Ben, this is good advice and perspective to start the work week with. Clothing myself with a little more love and humility as I put on the armor of God this morning.

  2. Megyn E Pike
    Megyn E Pike says:

    Thank you for this message, I really needed this in my life right now. I am always struggling with my daughters father and how he be littles me. I am going to love him and show her how we should act towards everyone, even those who are not kind to us. Jesus was a great example of unconditional love.

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