"[we] labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we intreat..." I Cor. 4: 12, 13
How many of us would say that is our testimony? Ouch! That is certainly not my natural tendency, I must confess. Yet that is really the point, isn't it? We are not to do what comes naturally. We, as Believers--- as Christ-followers--- are to respond to situations spiritually.
I Cor. 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ. Phil. 2: 5-8 says "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient even unto death."
I think the key word here is "humbled himself". How often when we find ourselves in conflict do we HUMBLE ourselves? No, rather we are usually looking out for #1....ourselves! What will make ME look good? What will promote MY agenda? What will cause ME to win?
Jesus went even farther in Matthew when he told his disciples :
"You have heard it said 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate your enemy', but I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you." Matt 5: 43-44
Pray for those who are giving us a hard time????? Bless those who are making our life miserable? Say GOOD things about them? Do something NICE for them....for NO reason? That is what Jesus has said. Yes, it flies in the face of everything we WANT to do or FEEL like doing. But that is where the other key word in the Philipians verse comes in...OBEY. Jesus himself became "obedient" to the Father....all the way to the Cross. Easy? No. Logical? No. But aren't you glad He was?
Today in whatever situation you find yourself--- at work, in your neighborhood, at school, or even in your own home, when you feel like getting back, instead take a step back, think about these verses, humble yourself, and OBEY. Want to know the results? Check out Proverbs 16:7!:)
2 days ago