Have you ever noticed that after Jesus’ horrific death, that his followers don’t respond in anger? They don’t react by calling those who are responsible names – not even in private. They don’t plot revenge. They don’t even hold rallies with negative sayings about the enemy inscribed on poster boards.
Instead, after a few weeks of hiding (and the arrival of the Holy Spirit who fills them with love, wisdom, and power), they go about their job of telling others the truth of what has happened. They even invite the enemy to believe with them and to become part of their community.
They act in love, not fear, not retaliation. They do this even until martyred.
What if the early Christians had taken the other route – angry, demanding retribution, forming groups of us versus them? Taking up the sword? Would we still be worshiping Jesus 2,000 years later?
I doubt it.
I think we should learn from their example. Speak the truth to those we disagree with, but always do it with respect for those we speak it to. Take the high road.
Another person’s bad behavior doesn’t justify our bad behavior. So we just keep on steadily being who God made us to be – servants and lovers of others – hoping one day they will see God within us and join us thereby completing us and making us rich with all the spiritual gifts they bring.
With all the division in the world right now, I have to bite my tongue (or erase what I have posted) a dozen times a day. Sometimes I want to mock and say derogatory things that stray from speaking the truth in love. If I do this, call me on it. I don’t think it’s who I am.
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