|Vol. 14 No. 12 December 2012||
Every day there are people who do others wrong whether by word or deed. Unfortunately, the doing of wrong to others is often committed by those of us who claim to be God-fearing Christians. Why do Christians mistreat others knowing full-well God is highly offended when we cause unnecessary hurt, and further that He will execute judgment and wrath upon us?
Isn’t it past time we truly learn “the more excellent way” of which Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:31ff? In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, we note that without love: (1) Our speech is a noisy gong; (2) In spite of what gifts with which we have been endowed, we are nothing; (3) Any sacrificial acts we make profit us nothing.
Friend, what is the value, then, in professing with our mouths to be a Christian, if our behavior toward others is no better (and sometimes even worse) than that of the world? Jesus teaches that what we do unto the brethren is what we do unto Him (Matthew 25:40; cf. Acts 9:1-4). Do we realize that we abuse the Lord and wound His heart through injuring even “the least of these”?
In John’s first epistle, we observe indicators of our identity: “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (1 John 3:10). “The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). The love of God within the heart does not produce ugliness and hatefulness.
Jesus, the Son of God, “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), daily blessing the lives of everyone He met. The apostle Paul instructed the followers of God: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
In conclusion, our behavior toward all others is not to be determined arbitrarily by a reckoning of who they are, but rather we deliberately choose to do good unto all because of who we are. Since we are Christians and begotten of the Father whose essence is love, it is incumbent upon each of us to treat everyone with kindness, honor and deference. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Christian, never forget the rule of Matthew 7:12.
“In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility…” (Titus 2:7)
Someone, I don’t know who, said that character is what we are when no one is watching. How true! When we do things that aren’t right, we try to hide them from our families, friends and the rest of the church. Even then, God is watching, and He knows.
If you want to be pleasing to God, to walk with Him, you must seek to follow His commandments. When you try to live up to God’s standard, your character will take care of itself. You won’t be living to please other people anymore. You’ll live to make God happy, and if we get that right, the rest will fall right into place.