I have been reading the gospels again and have been moved by Christ’s example of humility. In the hours before His crucifixion Jesus was accused, abandoned, afflicted and abased. When he was reviled with hateful taunts, He did not respond in kind. When He was accused and later beaten, He remained silent. He was provoked, pierced, prodded, and in pain, yet He did not lash out at those who so wrongfully and shamefully treated Him. He endured this ‘contradiction of sinners against Himself’ for the far greater cause of bringing salvation to mankind through His sufferings.
The Bigger Picture
We are all guilty at times of losing sight of the bigger picture. It’s not to our credit to love those that love us. We are also supposed to love those who treat us unfairly. Wow! Is that ever hard to do!
In our society it’s considered weakness to back down from a disagreement. After all, isn’t it important to make sure everybody knows the real facts about an incident? Or knows who really came up with that great idea? Or takes our side? Or that I’m in charge?
It’s More Important to be Christlike than to Be Right
No. It’s more important to mirror Christlikness than to be right. Can that be true? Sadly, we have been conditioned to plant our feet and in no uncertain terms let others around us know that we will not budge. But that response to conflict is not God-honoring.
I want to challenge you: Can you take the wrong – wrong behavior, wrong accusations, wrong ideas people have about you for the cause of Christ?
We shake our heads when we hear about churches that split because people can’t agree on the color of new carpet. Does anyone remember the color chosen? Do the stories praise the person who was ‘right’? No, the reputation of Christ and His followers is diminished by this kind of insistence on having one’s own way. People only remember that Christians can’t get along and they are not drawn to Christ by this fractious arguing.
We are children of God and have various responsibilities in the church. We can’t run away from this or change this. Right or wrong, people know this about us and because of it have even higher expectations of godliness from us.
I want to challenge you to pray about and study the passages which speak of Christ’s humility and deference to the Father’s will. I want to challenge you to study the Scriptures which tell us to take the wrong for the cause of Christ. And then I urge you to practice on each other.
Don’t Be Known as Fighting Christians
Don’t be known as fighting Christians. Our testimony before a watching world should be one of love and tender deference to each other. Our behavior toward each other may be used of God to draw a wanderer back or push a struggler farther away.
He Said, She Said
Our youngest daughter absolutely delighted to have her aunt and uncle here in May. She particularly loved hearing her father and his sister give their individual accounts of the same childhood event. They were both involved in the event yet had WIDELY differing versions of it.
When two believers see something differently take time to ask yourself if you might possibly have misinterpreted or gotten it wrong. Don’t automatically think you are right and the other person is wrong. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
Humility and Deference
By God’s grace let us love each other with humility and deference and allow our relationship as believers become a sweet savor of godliness to each other and to a watching world.