Monday, November 6, 2023
Not Always Your First Choice
Not Always Your First Choice
by David Brenneman
"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:6.
Read differently..."Let what you say be said with unmerited favor towards the person you're speaking to with what's appropriate..."
We are human beings who often don't consider what comes out of our mouths.
We often don't think of what all we appear to be around other people too.
It's pretty much a given that our sin nature is going to have a "What about me?" moment when we interact with the world.
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-25.
It's not always easy to make your wants and desires come in second to what God's wanting of you.
We're by nature wanting our own desires and feelings to come first.
"Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Proverbs 20:24.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.
When dealing with others it's oh so easy to, on a certain level, to be defensive. We inherently do not like to put others first. Our sin nature, again, is a selfish thing.
We read in Timothy of how prolific the last days before Jesus returns will be like. Lovers of self is the first thing that we read about.
So my question is for all of us, myself included: Are you thinking about how you ought to respond to each person in your life?
Life in Christ is going to be probably more inwardly challenging than externally challenging. Before we can be a light in the darkness of this sinful world, we need to be taught how to accurately handle the Word of God. We need to be taught the ways of a disciple before we lay claim to being one.
What can you do differently today to remember who you are in Christ? Satan's first attack line is your identity. If he can distort that, twist that, then he's got a foothold towards other thoughts.
Setting your mind on things above and not on the things that are of this world wasn't simply a good suggestion. It wasn't to be grouped in the category of "warm thoughts and feelings".
In Christ we are to be about the Father’s business. Living out our salvation, living in obedience. Pursuing sanctification. Showing a world in darkness what the light of Jesus Christ is supposed to be about.
It begins with reining in our hearts. It begins with what we say and how we say it. Most have heard it said that actions speak louder than words. How we behave around others will often speak more than what we say.
It is a very personal thing to Jesus. Should not it be personal to me? To you?
There's no joking about tearing people down. This is a lesson that I learned the hard way from elementary school days. There's no joking when it comes to this in God's eyes. Trash talk is a sinful thing. You who are in Christ are representing Jesus at all times. How are you representing Jesus when your speech isn't thought out and you are not lifting someone else up?
Consider your life...will you be proud of those moments when you stand before Jesus to give an account of your life? I hardly think so.
Go back to the opening verse. Take it to heart. Change begins with your obedience to God's Word.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.