Thursday, June 23, 2011

If I Were Still Trying to Please Man, I Would Not Be a Servant of Christ

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.  (Galatians 1:10. ESV.)

To Live is Christ

What is your day to day like?  Are you usually comfortable or uncomfortable?  Why?  Are you generally surrounded by friends or adversity?  Those who are like minded or radically different?

Sure, Christ Jesus had followers...the twelve disciples, those who wanted to be healed and listen to his teaching, a woman who just wanted to touch his clothing, etc.  But all those Jesus walked among were sinners, not a single one perfectly righteous and holy as He.  I imagine that had to be quite frustrating at times...maybe He even felt sad at times.  The bible says God is love.  Have you ever loved someone with all your heart only to receive harsh, cruel words in return and/or wicked behavior?  It hurts!  To want something so much for someone else who does not know or understand the beauty and gift in it...so it is met with mocking and/or unkindness.  To serve with a joyful, compassionate heart only to be taken advantage of without remorse or repentance.

Did Jesus feel like a fool asking His Father to forgive us because we knew not what we were doing...sinning, indulging in pleasure all the while driving the one who loves us wholly, deeply, unconditionally to torture and His death?  Have you ever spoken up for an individual so engrossed in his/her sin it radiated from his/her every move, thought, and utterance?  Perhaps you did it out of hope, faith, or love...only to get let down time and again...and feel foolish for believing one would change (or even WANT to make things different)?

Enduring Strife Not Causing It

I can attempt to imitate Christ but I am definitely going to fall WAY short.  The Word of God calls followers of Christ to "keep the peace" not stir it up.  Concern for one's health and wellbeing out of genuine intentions with a humble heart (as opposed to pride or jealousy) is one thing.  I feel confronting people with an "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude and/or hypocrisy (with intent or not) causes resentment and bitterness...maybe even a response like, "Who are you to judge me?"  The opposite also causes problems.  If the rebuke or question is pure and meant to help (not harm) yet the receiver is "wicked", prideful, or "a scoffer", "he will hate you".

7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
   and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
   reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
   teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
   and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
 (Proverbs 9:7-10. ESV.)
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