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Oct 24, 2015 1266
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (Rom. 12:14).
As Jesus was being nailed to his cross he prayed that the Father would forgive those who treated him so cruelly (Matt. 23:34).
One of the felons who was crucified with Jesus hurled insults at him (Matt 23:39). The other felon, however, who had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, defended Jesus (Luke 23:40-42). Although he suffered as much pain as his fellow criminal, he didn’t allow that pain to obscure his vision of who was really crucified beside him—one who did not deserve to be there.
As Christians we must let Jesus rule our hearts and words especially in trying times because that’s when our witness will have the greatest impact for good.
A young man, showing off to his girlfriend, drove his car onto my neighbour’s lawn and gouged holes in it by spinning his wheels on the grass. I strode across the road and vented my anger on him.
Later, I regretted what I had done. I had thoroughly embarrassed that young man in front of his girlfriend, and if someone invited him to my church and he saw me there, I doubt that he would return.
How much better would it have been if I had kindly said to him, with a pat on his shoulder, “You surprise me by your actions because you look a very intelligent young man to me. Go on. Off you go now”.
We need to consider not only the long term impact of our words before we speak but also the manner in which we utter them. As followers of the Lord Jesus we should represent him in both speech and actions.