Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1Peter 3:9. ESV.)
Today, Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening Daily Reading" was exactly what I needed. He stated,
From the moment of the new and celestial birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have.... He is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character. Paul's words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ - nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ?
Your business - are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, "Is that a mean reason?" For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery? Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did?
Yet,this alone is the true life of a Christian - its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word - Christ Jesus.
It is so easy for me to lose my focus. If I walk in the flesh and come across someone spewing evil and sinning against me or someone else, the burning desire is to respond in kind and vomit wickedness. But that would be foolish and unbecoming a daughter of the King. All that I say and do must be done "for Christ" not for self! If an individual makes a false statement or accusation, is my initial reply to argue my case? Of course. But why? Whose honor is at stake? Those who know me on a deep level are familiar with my heart. And everyone who is acquainted with me on a surface level will see the consistency of my behavior. So, as long as I continue to be the best version of myself possible and stay securely rooted to the Way, it will not matter if deceitfulness and slander attempt to thwart my pilgrimage. The "aim and end" of my life will be Christ.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21. ESV.)
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