Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

I Peter 3:8-15 (CEV) ~

Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. Don’t be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God’s chosen ones, and he will bless you. The Scriptures say,
“Do you really love life?
    Do you want to be happy?
Then stop saying cruel things
    and quit telling lies.
Give up your evil ways
    and do right,
as you find and follow
the road that leads
    to peace.
The Lord watches over
    everyone who obeys him,
and he listens
    to their prayers.
But he opposes everyone
    who does evil.”
Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do.  
Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.

Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.
Recently I was accused of wrong motives in a situation and it frustrated and hurt me.  It was unjust because my intentions have been to do nothing but bring honor to Christ.  My desire was to do the right thing.  Even when I received advice to take the opposite action, I didn't because I felt like I should stay in a relationship to represent the Lord.  So when I am being insulted it's a double blow.
BUT....this passage came to mind.  Even when I'm being accused of a wrong motive, I need to bless.  When unkind words are aimed straight at my heart, I need to be kind.  When I'm insulted, I am not to retaliate.  When my reputation is being dragged through the mud, I need to be still.  But more importantly, I'm to do this with a thankful heart.  Christ is to fill my life to the point that everything I do becomes about bringing Him honor. 
Tough words.   My humanness causes me to want to really lambast someone.  I want to defend myself and speak my mind.  I want to let others know how I've been offended.  But this is where the rubber meets the road.  I am Christ's ambassador.  I represent Him.  I can't pick and choose which passages I'll follow and which I won't.  I have to choose the higher ground.

Our Christian walk is not just about showing up for a religious service once a week and thinking we've done our duty.  It's in the day to day battles that our true walk shows.  It's in how we handle those little situations when no one is looking.  Or it's in the times when we think we are justified in our actions.  What does your walk look like at those times?

No matter what you face, trust God to work it out.  He knows your heart.  He knows the circumstances.  Let Him take care of it and make sure you are representing Him!  And let's remember to always thank Him for the work He is doing in our lives!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!