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Jeremiah 33:6 “Behold, I will bring it healing and cure, and I will cure them, and I will reveal to them a greeting of peace and truth.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.“
Peace and truth. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
We all fall short. Those who profess to be God loving, Jesus following, saved people, and those who are not. However, momentary lapses are far different from a constant and regular pattern of speech and behavior.
Someone hiding behind an online presence on “social media” and spewing insensitive comments and commentary about real life/current day issues, is far more than simply airing a viewpoint or sharing information. That is hate speech, and it is unfathomable how anyone believes this is becoming of any person, never mind one who professes to be a follower of Jesus/a Christian.
The insensitivity and crass commentary is not limited to online either.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune. It is accompanied by a strong desire to help the suffering. It is not always easy to show compassion, especially when we feel strongly about the issue(s) surrounding the situation.
However, if I am who I say I am, a follower of Jesus, a Christian… (as an aside, I happen to be a Christian who is also Jewish), I lean on Colossians 3. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Psalm 116:5 “The Lord is gracious and righteous, and our God is merciful.” And for one who professes to love God and follow Him, if God is gracious, righteous (moral) and merciful, that is who we are called to emulate. For one who professes to be saved, a Christian, we, our self-focused, pompous, ungodly self has died, and we have been given a new life, in Jesus. We understand the exchange that occurred at salvation. We understand our inheritance that is of far more value than anything money could buy.
Only God is the ultimate judge of someone’s heart. However, what I say and do, and what you say and do, we are representing who we claim to be. Matthew 7:16 “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” 1 Samuel 24:14 Hebrew Bible (24:13 OT) “As says the proverb of the ancient one; ‘From the wicked comes forth wickedness,’ and my hand shall not be upon you.”
Historically people claiming to be Christians have done horrific things in the name of Jesus, giving Jesus and Christianity a bad name. People watch how other’s react and behave in and through many different situations. We all do that. Many times it is that watching that draws people to us and opens minds and hearts to learn about God, Jesus, the gospel. And many times it is that watching that draws people away from us and what we claim to represent.
I pray for myself and for each one of you this day, that our walk becomes deeper in the truth of what it means to be God’s redeemed.