When I was in college there was a guy at the school who made it known that he did not like Christians. Once, myself and some of my friends who were also Christians were eating lunch together. The guy who didn’t like Christians walked over and slapped one of my friends on the back of the head real hard and said “what’s up preacher man”. I guess we all wondered how mike was going to retaliate back. There were probably some of us thinking we would back him up, just in case things got ugly. I could tell that mike was upset, but he kept his composure, asked the guy “how are you doing?” and went back to talking with us. At first I felt like Mike should had turned around and really showed that guy what was up, but the more that I observed him the more I saw Christ in him.
I have heard people say “He’s about to make me lose my religion”. We use the excuse “God knows we are human” and seem to think that this gives us the right to act out of the Christian character. Mike could have said either one of these things, but instead he choose not to retaliate. I don’t believe that Mike was scared of the guy, and he probably could have handled him without any help from us. I do believe his concern was more on representing Christ than responding in a way to make him look bold or strong.
Proverbs 20:22 tells us “Do not say, “I will recompense evil’; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.” This is an easy scripture to quote to someone who is facing a challenging situation with another person, however, when the script flips and it is now yourself dealing with someone who has done you wrong, this same scriptures seems hard to abide by. One of the definitions in the dictionary for recompense means-to return in kind. So the bible is telling us not to say “I’m going to do to them, what they did to me.” If your spouse, close friends or family members betray you-do not recompense evil. If someone reveals something about you that was private-do not recompense evil. If someone causes you to lose something that was very important and dear to you-do not recompense evil. When someone embarrasses you or talks bad about you the bible tells us not to recompense evil. When bad things happen to us, it is so easy for the flesh to rise and cause us to act out of character. Even in writing this blog, things that people have done to me comes back to memory and I can feel myself getting upset. It seems like they got away with doing me wrong and I’m not suppose to do anything about it? Now that’s a big pill to swallow. However, the bible does tell me to do something. It tells me to wait for the Lord.
In the midst of hard times these words may not sound very encouraging because the only thing on the mind is the injustice that just happened. But if we are going to abide by God’s word, we have to cast these thoughts that causes our flesh to rise, down. (casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV). This is the first step to quieting the flesh. The second step is doing what the word of God tells us, and that is to wait on Him. God sees everything that we meet. He understands our frustration, our hurt and pain. His word promises us that he will save us. With our actions we choose to either believe his word or not believe it. If we believe him then we will do what he tells us, if not, we will do what the flesh tells us.
With our mouths we say we are followers of Christ, however are actions do speak louder than words. Christians are criticized more than any other group of people in the world. The people of the world are saying we are fakes, phonies, fanatics and a bunch of other things. One reason for this is because are actions are different from our words. It’s not what we speak, that draws a person to Christ, it is the life we live. The bible tells us that we are the light of the world, Matthew 5:14. If our actions are doing things that are contrary to God’s word, our light is probably very dim.
Every now and then we should ask ourselves “Do my actions, encourage other people to want to know the Lord?” We should ask God to show us ourselves, because sometimes we may not really realize we are acting contrary to God’s word. God is faithful, if we turn to him he will help us to live our lives in a way that will influence others to want to come to know Jesus as well.
From my heart to yours, I ask that you please share this message. I know there is someone out there who needs to read it. Thanks in advance!
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But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God…August 20, 2014