THURSDAY October 8, 2020
Genuine Christian Character
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
How many Christians would love to skip this verse because it is so convicting? The Apostle Paul told believers to bless those who have persecuted them! He was teaching them to have a genuine, Christian character. Yet if someone hurts us, we naturally want to retaliate and pay them back. We all have an evil nature (Jeremiah 17:9), and it is easy for us to spew out unpleasant words in retaliation. Consider the wisdom of these Proverbs:
Proverbs 10:19: In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 15:1-2: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
Proverbs 15:4: A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Understand, Christians can do great harm to others with their words. We can be very vicious. Even when antagonized, instead of cursing at people, show restraint, and bless them. It is for the Lord’s sake that we obediently do this. Then people will not be offended with our words.
In developing our Christian character, Paul also taught us to be tender to those who are grieving. Have you ever wept with someone who was grieving? If you really love somebody, weep with them; enter into their grief and suffering. Paul once again addressed pride. We are all the same in God’s eyes; there is no one higher than another. Can two walk together unless they agree? Unity and humility helps believers to be of the same heart and mind.
God values Christian character, which shines in positive, outward conduct. Fashion your heart after Jesus.
For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!