I know the world is falling apart because so many have their backs turned to the Lord God almighty, and so many professing to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are lukewarm and not much committed to Him and to the Bible. So I’m not surprised much anymore by all I see and hear in my life on the road for Jesus. Like the day I stood at the front desk of yet another hotel where I was staying when another hotel guest called out to me.
In a nutshell, lacking even an ounce of kindness, he told me I was dressed like I was going out pigs slopping. Now mind you I have spent over 20 years caring for rescued dogs so I suppose he wasn’t too far off with his pigs reference. But still, it wasn’t exactly the politest thing to tell a stranger. Fortunately, thanks to my having been assaulted in New York City and miraculously saved by God, I knew better than to open my big mouth and get myself into any kind of trouble with my “accuser” concerning my pigs slopping attire. But this is not all. And herein lies the message.
God is teaching me to love even when people don’t love me. He is teaching me to be kind even when people aren’t kind. He is teaching me to forgive even when people don’t say they’re sorry. He is teaching me to love, bless, do good, and pray for those who hate me, hurt me, lash out at me, reject me, abandon me, do mean things to me, etc. Not in my human weakness, but in His glorious love, mercy, grace, and strength. By the power of His Holy Spirit.
Am I always good at this? No! Do I fall short and need to repent at times? Yes! But God has changed my heart, and my deep desire is to respond to people in a manner pleasing and honoring and glorifying to God and whereby people will see Jesus in and through me instead of see my human flesh act out like I have such a long history of doing.
Friend, the best example in the world of how to respond to others’ wrongdoing is Jesus Himself. These verses are so encouraging – and challenging – to me!
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25 NKJV
And these verses are so very challenging – and encouraging – also!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV