We don’t have to look too far to see the struggles around us. We are a divided country.
Christians are not immune from these struggles—political and beyond. We experience strife in our business and personal relationships and are daily tested to live our lives differently as Christ followers.
Especially during people conflicts, we have to resist trusting in ourselves, our emotions and our opinions.
We have to daily, sometimes moment by moment, renew our mind so we can discern the will of God. (ROM 12:2)
And know this—Our minds are not renewed apart from the Word of God.
Especially when we are struggling with others, we are to test everything-every thought and every action we are considering by God’s instructions in His Holy Word.
If we don’t, we are likely to be led astray and end up in a load of trouble.
Like it or not —Conflict with other people often shines a spotlight on our faith.
It is easy to love those who agree with us and love us back.
It’s quite another to love those who don’t appreciate us, falsely accuse us, cheat us, and hurt those we love. We need supernatural strength to love them.
We need to remember that those who come against us are exactly the people who require a doubled-down determination on our parts to follow Jesus.
And He is really clear when He says,
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
I see no “out clause” here, do you?? (Trust me, I’ve looked for one when considering boxing someone’s ears!)
But when we live to follow Christ our lives are “telling” them about Jesus.
This is the Great Commission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:19-20
And I love that last part…in those hard moments, Jesus is with us ALWAYS!
And one day…as Oswald Chambers says,
“What an astonishment it will be to see, once the veil is finally lifted, all the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you’ve been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.”
I’ll be back in Philippians tomorrow. Join us.