In the world but not of it

April 8, 2010

Defensive…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9

It cuts deep when someone points out your faults and you know it is true, but it cuts deeper when you are insulted or accused falsely because, if you are like most people, the first reaction is to defend yourself and retaliate.

We don’t like to be put on the defensive. It is sort of a violation of our space and privacy and we fight to protect our ground. The truth, however, is that Christ set a different example for us to follow. Earlier in the chapter Peter discusses Jesus’ attitude and response to being treated unfairly and said “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly” (1 Peter 2:23).

The emotional reaction to defend ourselves, whether there is truth in it or not, is only an outward proof of the inward insecurity we have. It is just one more way that pride manifests itself in our lives. Jesus knew who He was and He was secure in His relationship with the Father. He also knew where He was headed and understood that to get there would mean certain death.

Perhaps we are not headed for certain death. In this world, however, we know from reading the scriptures that trials and difficulties are certain for the believer.

Have we ever considered why this is so? The one reason that sticks out is simply because everything that God says and instructs us in is directly the opposite of what the world teaches, therefore, it should be no surprise that there is constant push back and anxiety when it comes to living in this world as a Christian. We are consistently going against the flow.

That fact translates into incoming trials and difficulties. There are more reasons but this one is key to our understanding. We don’t need to figure it all out; we just need to remember during those stressful moments that we live in a fallen world that needs a risen Savior.

We don’t need to retaliate or be defensive. God is our defender.

The people and places we know were meticulously crafted for us and God is looking for us to be “dead enough to self” that He may work thru those difficult people and circumstances for His greater glory…

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