I would like to introduce you to my Auntie Ju who is writing today's blog post. She is a gifted lady with a heart for God and ministering to His people. I recommend that you check out the cards she has designed on her website ... very nice. Enjoy! Kathy
And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? – Matthew 5:47
My friend and I had just pulled into a parking place at a busy department store. Before getting out, my friend (who was doing the driving that day) paused to dig something out of her purse… when all of a sudden – BAM! The car in the spot next to her swung their passenger door open and hit her car! Then walked away like nothing happened! Well, before you could say, “Boo!”, my friend opened her car door and bashed it into their passenger door! So there! Pretty comical, right? Probably seemed justified in the moment. But don’t we all sometimes, hastily, respond to people’s disagreeable behavior towards us - in an equally disagreeable way?
No one likes getting caught not doing what is right. But it’s true. Whether at church or school or work, even family… we steer clear of the people who irritate us - as much as possible. The exact opposite of the behavior exhibited by Jesus Himself and the exact opposite of what God calls us to do. And it’s not just written down in the bible. It pops into your mind everytime you do it. Sometimes you feel guilty inside and it bothers you. Other times, we have become pretty good at denying what we heard in our head and our heart. Or we are pretty good at justifying why that certain person does not deserve that kind of love. But none of our reasons have any truth in them. The fact is, God calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We have been “set apart” in a very real sense. We are supposed to look different, act different than the rest of the world. And God empowers us to behave this way. It can be done. You can be nice toward those who hurt you, insult you, shun you, “whatever” you. Because God is the power behind your behavior. And God will reward what is done in secret. That is promised again and again in Matthew 6. It may be hard to swallow – being “nice” when you’d rather be “fair” and even the score. But God promises to strengthen you in that moment. God has His reasons for commanding us to behave this way. And He promises to reward you. And who doesn’t want a reward from God? Be brave. Be right in the eyes of God. It might just affect the spirit of that person in need of some love and gentleness. Be “set apart” in God’s power.See Code