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How should I respond as a Christian?

Dear Church Family,


The last two weeks have swirled with new information and new routines. I and the rest of the elders have been so encouraged to hear reports of how you are responding in faithfulness to God during trials and unknowns. By God’s grace, may we continue to walk in faithfulness in the coming days.


As we seek to live faithfully, we want to be on guard for the temptations that may come from the evil one. One likely temptation is to allow disagreements to breed disunity.


Different people are responding to the crisis in different ways. How serious is the crisis? What’s the best way to respond? Depending on factors such as personality and life stage, people answer these questions in very different ways.


As a result of these differing views, we may grow frustrated with the attitudes and behaviors of government leaders, employers, the media, other church members, and even family members.


How should I respond as a Christian when others, even fellow Christians, approach the crisis differently than I do? Today’s Bible reading in Luke 6 provides some good reminders.


Remember that you might not be seeing everything clearly.

41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”


This verse is directly aimed at hypocrisy, but the principle extends to my other opinions. Of course, I never hold an opinion that I think is wrong; neither do you. But sometimes one of us is wrong. And if I don’t always see all things rightly, I could be wrong about something today.


Of course, sometimes it’s quite clear that someone else is not approaching things wisely. They might be obviously wrong, even sinfully wrong. What then?


Remember that Jesus tells us how to respond to being wronged.


27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.”


So many things are confusing and unclear right now. One thing that is clear is our need to give others our love, blessing, and prayer.


It’s sometimes good to challenge and correct others; it’s always necessary to respond in love. After all, that’s how our merciful God treats his creatures.


35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”


We don’t need to be right on every issue. But we do need to love.


And praise God that, through it all, we continue to receive his mercy and grace.


From one in need of mercy to another,


Nathan

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