In our daily walk with Christ, we will encounter people, situations, ideals, and laws which will leave us wondering, sometimes with our head spinning, what it all means and what can or should we do about the situation. Some respond with zeal, some with apathy, some embrace while others reject almost all the time though it’s about our will and what we want versus what God’s will is and what He wants. You could say that there should be a balance between our will and God’s, but that’s unbiblical. All through Scripture we are shown we are to lay aside our own will, desires, and wants and give ourselves wholly over to Him, trusting that He will take care of our needs without any input from us. When we speak or act, it should always be in response to the Holy Spirit and never on our own (regardless if it involves overt ministry or your ‘day job’). There are ways of doing things both tactfully and effectively, and there are certain lines we should never cross, though if we are truly given over to His will that won’t be an issue. Until then, here are some lessons I’ve learned.
- Being a married man does not give you justification for being a tyrant. Ephesians 5:22-33 is not a license to be a tyrant but is a guide on how to treat your wives and more than that, it is a final teaching on the structure of His Church. God is at the head, the male spouse is the head-of-household, an ordained minister to his family, with his wife by his side. Not underfoot. Not at the head. At his side. As we are co-heirs with Christ, and the Church is His Bride, so too our wives need to be treated with dignity, respect, and understanding. The submission of wives talked about here isn’t forceful. Just as we are to willingly submit to the LORD in all matters, so to wives to their husbands. Just like we can discuss things with God all day long, in the end the decision is His and His alone. Anything that crosses the line into disrespect of your spouse, I believe, is not only hurtful to the spouse but I believe it to be a sin against God Himself.
- In my search on how to run a business in a way that honors God, I cam across many verses that spoke of not standing in the way of sin. The message was clear, I believe, but I’m still lost (and waiting to for guidance) on the application. Obviously we are tasked with carrying forth the Gospel (good news) of Jesus’ death and resurrection, by which salvation is made possible, and in the U.S. – a country not only founded on Christian principles but I believe ordained by the Lord Himself (though having definitely fallen out of favor in the last 20+ years) – we are in a unique position to influence our laws and leaders like no nation before (though some seem to try and emulate to some degree). There are definitely things happening in this nation that are a complete abomination before the LORD (homosexuality, murders (abortion in particular), rapes, theft, idolatry, etc.). Where do we draw the line, though? We definitely need to remain outspoken about these activities as they are sins, but how do we do so not only in love but while also leaving free choice up to each individual? After all, we cannot stand their place as Christ stood in ours. Those who are unbelievers already stand in judgment for rebellion against the Almighty. We also know that, just because something is against the law it won’t stop those who have set it in their hearts to do such things, either. What does one do aside from proclaiming the Truth, prayer over those living lives of sin (ourselves included, unless you can say before God honestly and truthfully you’ve made it to a mostly sinless life (and according to Scripture, it is possible), and fasting for God’s mercy? I’m personally very conflicted on this right now.
- Avoid being prideful. Proverbs 16:18 really says it better than I could: “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” If you look through all Scripture, it’s easy to see pride at the root of every other sin imaginable. Think about that for a moment.
I thought I had more, but the above list pretty neatly covers just about anything. There is no reason to lose our testimony or witness because we stepped outside of God’s will. There is also nothing wrong in admitting when we ourselves are in the wrong and have crossed any lines into not being like Christ. There are definitely times when we need to get mad and, like Christ, chase the sin out of our homes. There are times when we’ll have to tell it like it is and call a spade a spade because there is just nothing else to call it. The rest of the time we really do need to express more fully Christ’s love for everyone and His desire for all to be saved should also be ours. That won’t happen, though, if His Word is not written on our hearts as much as some of us have imprinted His Word in our minds. Don’t cross any lines you don’t need to, remembering to show love to all, and wipe the dust off of your feet for anyone who won’t listen. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)