“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”
III John 1:11 NKJV
Through most of my life, I have experienced opposition. I have had so many who have gone against me, not for what I have done, but often because of who I am. In my weaker moments, I have been guilty of fighting fire with fire, of hitting back against those who hate and abuse me, of seeking an eye for an eye. In those times, I cared little for the lives of others, as I just wanted to get even.
In a day or two, we are going to have a result in the election, and for half of those who voted it is not going to be the result they hoped for, and for the other half, it could be a time of gloating, revenge and celebration. Regardless of the outcome, there could be attacks and riots in the streets. I have been tracking the tension building due to the slow process, and all is being tightened up, and like a spring suddenly released, there will be an explosion.
Humans tend to be bad winners and poor losers. We are, at our core, are evil and cannot naturally do good. When the winner is declared, we will fall back on our emotions and all hell could break loose. In the flesh, we fall back on what we know, what we have seen, acting on impulse. A couple of weeks ago the Dodgers won the championship in baseball, and Los Angeles exploded. Jubilant fans threw bottles at police, destroyed property and beat passersby in their joy.
““The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
Beloved brothers and sisters, we are called to be imitators of God. It is not conditional, depending on whether we feel like it, or if we are facing a real or perceived wrong. In the heat of passion, the message of the Gospel is lost. In imitating God, I think of Jesus going to the cross. He faced the uiltimate wrong, He was sent to the cross to pay for sins of those who wanted Him dead. He could have ended the world with a word, yet He chose to pay the price.
In the passage we see a lesson in contrasts. Diotrephes is a man with one foot in the world, and one in heaven, straddling life and behaving as one lost. His heart is of the world, as he does evil to his brethren. He places himself above others, and wants the upperhand. The other example is Demetrius, who has a good testimony in Christ. He highly regarded by all and truth itself. I suspect he was humble.
In these perilous times, let us be like Demetrius, and may it be that people see us and how we behave and know that we are followers of Jesus.
I am not calling on people to be passive. If you are attacked, you must defend: BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. But we are to show grace. Our nation is teetering on the edge of heaven and hell, as are many people that we encounter. The nation’s heaven and hell is the future condition of America and the quality of life. For those we encounter, it is an eternal situation. Souls are at stake.
I am reminded that I am a peacemaker. I am a citizen of the United States, but more importantly, I am a citizen of Heaven. I am an ambassador of the Most High God, and I must represent Him and His values. In the role of peacemaker, I have the blessing of being like Jesus. A son of God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9 NKJV
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