Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So You Think You're Being Persecuted?


The Bible says there's such a thing as persecution for the godly.
And then there's 'persecution' because I was just plain stupid.

Ten years ago there's no way God would have let me have a blog. Well, ok, so there weren't blogs back then and I wasn't online yet, either. That's beside the point.

No, back then He couldn't have trusted me with the huge responsibility which is Blogging. Constantly I would have stated things in such a way that long lines of people would have crowded into my comment box, daily, just itching to to criticize me and what I had said.

And I would have gone around whining and sighing, "I'm being persecuted in my blog. Poor, mistreated, misjudged me." And I would have fought back and poor ol' God would have been embarrassed to pieces to even know me.

No, really.

Here are examples of what I would have said back then and how I would say it now:

Then: Only an idiot would think he could get to Heaven by a different route than through Jesus.
Now: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" ... John 14:6

Then: I don't care what your school or your pastor or your own mother taught you--they were wrong in this case.
Now: While growing-up we learn tons of things, but there comes a time to finally seek God for real Truth--and be willing to relearn some of what we have learned.

Then: What? You don't read at least one chapter a day from the Bible?
Now: One man's obedience is another man's works. Each of us should read the Bible as God leads us, and graces us, individually.

Then: Huh! Well, someday you'll see that I'm right when your wobbly knees are bowing and your tongue is confessing that Jesus is Lord!
Now: "...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..." Philippians 2:10,11

Then: You should live and do exactly like I live and do.
Now: This is how I live.

How we say a thing is equally as important as what we say. We need more than just the right message--we need the right tone which comes only from a right heart.

What a frightening thing it is to be held responsible for the part we play if we make anyone run from God in disgust/fear/anger. What a heavy responsibility to represent our Father--an impossible one when we're led by our heads instead of by His heart... that longsuffering, compassionate, loving heart of His.

How important, then, it becomes for me to die daily so that any persecution which comes my way will be because I was like Jesus--not because I was, like, stupid.

***
"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..." ... II Timothy 3:12

"...be therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." ... Matthew 10:16

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