I’m sure you have had interactions with at least one person in your life that is the antithesis of who you are! Their beliefs, motivations, style, habits, hobbies, etc. are all completely different than yours! Sometimes this blending of personalities can be a harmonious concoction; however, at other times, it can be a dissonant disaster, to say the least. I believe that God puts people in our lives in order to challenge us to become better people. In Proverbs 27:17, the Bible says that,
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
I wholeheartedly believe this to be true; however, sometimes, I don’t want to be sharpened! Sometimes I just want to tell annoying people to “bug off”!
A few years ago, I felt a conviction* from the Holy Spirit about my funky attitude while listening to the radio in my car. The verse of the day was John 13:35:
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
“Oh, jeez,” I thought! “But, sometimes I don’t want to!” Well, I hate to break it to you, but loving one another is a commandment from God, and if you are a Christian, then you need to obey Him! In 1 John 3:10, we learn that “anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” God is concerned about the condition of our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7), and this is why loving our brothers and sisters is imperative. We are to guard our hearts because it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Guarding your heart will allow you to be genuine in your love for one another.
Loving People With Christ’s Love
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll be working on loving my “brothers and sisters” like Christ loves me for the rest of my life! Loving people with a godly love is hard to do unless you are constantly reliant on the Lord. In James 1:23-25, we learn that: “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.” Wow! The first time I read this verse, I freaked out! I thought, “Oh my gosh! How scary it would be to have perpetual amnesia!” When you read the Word but are not a doer of the Word (James 1:22), you are in danger of living a life contrary to what God intends for you! God allowed his only Son to die on the cross for you! He loves us just the way we are, but He does not intend for us to stay the way we are–He intends for us to grow in Him and through Him! “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1). Today, I’m challenging you to be active not passive; be a DOER of the Word!
How have you put God’s Word into practice in your daily life recently?
*Conviction and condemnation are NOT the same thing. Conviction is of the Holy Spirit and is meant to encourage you and lead you to repentance. Condemnation is of the enemy and is meant to discourage you and often leads to self-pity.*