“That’s not very Christian of her,” someone says. Usually the person speaking those words is not a Christian and has no idea what “being a Christian” really is.
Followers of Christ are held to a higher standard by the society that scorns them. That isn’t totally wrong. We’re supposed to be different. We’re supposed to walk by the standard God set for us. But the people who scorn Christians at the same time expect Christians to be perfect (something God doesn’t expect). Non-Christians expect Christians to never make mistakes, to never have anything to regret. While most unbelievers reject the idea of sin or absolute truth, they are often the first to point a finger at a faltering Christian and cry, “Sinner!”
I always hope people will extend grace, even when they disagree. But the truth is, the world we live in likes to lash out. If you are different, if you take a stand for a belief that
is contrary to what makes others feel comfortable, you become the enemy and need to be cut down. The majority opinion-holders swarm. They spew venom, and they start feeding on the person they disagree with like piranha in a river. It’s a sad thing to observe; it’s a painful thing to experience.
I shouldn’t be surprised when people are hateful or judgmental or cruel. Not when it happens to other Christians. Not when it happens to me. Why? Because Jesus said:
If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you. When that happens, remember this: Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. (John 15:18-20, Msg)
So what can be done? Must we just endure unfair treatment from the world? Well, yes and no. We do endure, but there are some things that can be done:
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath… Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. (Romans 12:14, 17-21, Msg)
I’m trying to remember to respond in those ways when someone says something cruel about me or to me. I’m trying to remember to respond with goodness whether they speak truth or lies.
Remember the old bumper sticker that said: “Christians aren’t perfect. Just forgiven.” None of us will be perfect while we walk this earth. Only Jesus was perfect. But oh, thank God for His forgiveness!!
Anyway, that’s what I was just thinking.
In the grip of His grace,