One of the more discouraging elements of our world is how divided it is and how toxic our interactions can become. Between the political worlds, the rantings that go on in social media and the nature of the media it seems that there is an increase of verbal attacks on everyone.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Tit 3:1-2 ESV)
Being that Pastor Grant and I are at Moody this week we had the privilege to listen to Paul Nyquist (President of Moody Bible Institute) last night and he spoke on this very subject, so I am passing on a very small tidbit of that message.
The point of last night dovetails very nicely with our message series through Matthew 7, where God’s people are commanded to not judge others, for in the way we judge we will be judged. And yet, it is easy for us to fire off our opinions about others around us whether it is other Christians, culture, or political figures. The admonition is clear – “speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, to be gentle and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
It does not matter if we are talking about people from the Middle East, refugees, immigrants, politicians, or a family relative – we are to speak evil of no one. I will add that if you happen to hear our series through Matthew it bears reminding us that one of our greatest hypocrisies is that we dishonor God when we grumble and complain about others especially when the circumstance calls for forgiveness.
The point is Paul’s message reminded me (and hence my reminder to you) that it is easy to speak evil of others but God calls us to always treat others with respect regardless of behavior, ideological differences and conflicting world views. The questions is why?
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7 ESV)
It is because of the immeasurable goodness and loving kindness of God towards us that we should be kind to others. Be careful how you think and how you talk about those around you, especially those that would appear to give you good ammunition to speak evil of them. Does relationship with Christ make a difference?… It should!
In His grace,