As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind towards all, a good and patient teacher, gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. 2 Timothy 2:24-25 GNB
It was during the festive season, when I overheard a conversation between two persons. It appeared that one individual didn’t get why Christians celebrated the season and somehow didn’t believe in all of this ” Jesus stuff “. As the two individuals conversed, my ears grew hot and my heart ached.
In this environment, everyone is aware of my Christian beliefs, however I chose not to partake in their dialogue. Actually, I had no reason to speak, as God spoke for me. As they conversed, someone said, “You see, some persons may have had their own experiences with Jesus which have caused them to believe in him.” The unbeliever appeared to have accepted the response, he listened carefully to what was said and the conversation ended quite positively. I felt pleased in the way they discussed such a sensitive topic; no one argued, it was a gentle conversation.
A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NIV
As I reflected on the dialogue, I realised that God had given me an opportunity to listen to my old self. He replayed a clip from my BC life and in that moment I could not judge him.
Do not judge others and you will not be judged. Matthew 7: 1 GNB
My BC (Before Christ) Life
There was a time in my BC life when I denied Jesus. No darling, it gets worse! I once denied God’s existence too. As I became more ambitious, I became just too busy for God. Life was going well, why bother with God? My belief in Christ became quite blurred as I embraced all aspects of university life. I drew further away from God as I advanced in social knowledge and cradled societal beliefs. I accepted and advocated fearlessly for these beliefs in my university work and through group discussions. There were times I questioned God, “What kind of God will do this to innocent children ?”. Looking back, who was I to question God in such a disrespectful way? If God was like man, I would have been made dumb for attacking his character. Thankfully, God is ever so patient with us, He wants us to change.
But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. 2 Peter 3:8-9 GNB
Kind To All
The Bible states that all scriptures are inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instructions for right living (2 Timothy 3 :16 ).
As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind towards all, a good and patient teacher, gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. 2 Timothy 2:24-25
The above scripture provides us with a heavenly instruction. It instructs us on how we should live as the Lord’s servant. It does not tell us to be nice to people who are kind to us, it tells us to be kind to everyone. I found this quite difficult to understand in my BC Life, if someone was unkind to me, they were also dead to me. I lost many friendships and ended many family relationships due to this attitude. Today, I am thankful for God, as he has truly changed me. I try my very best to be kind to everyone, as it is not only my duty, but it is actually the best way to live.
The Collins English Dictionary defined the word “kind” as, “having a warm-hearted nature; being considerate, friendly, helpful or agreeable”. When I thought of kindness, the first thing that came to mind was acts of Kindness. For example, undertaking charity work and giving back to society. I do love these pieces of hands-on work. However, if as soon as I walk away from doing these honourable tasks and enter my home, I turn into the most disagreeable human being or I am the most inconsiderate colleague at my work place, does this mean I am truly kind? Is it ok just to be kind in some situations or should we be kind to everyone in every situation?
I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago, it really left me with a feeling of guilt and embarrassment. I was extremely unkind to someone who questioned me about God and in that moment I realised that I did not represent Christ in a respectful way. I forgot that there was a time when I too questioned God. Someone sent me a piece of writing a few days ago, it said ” Unbelievers may not be reading the Bible, but they are reading you. They look at how you behave and some make up their minds based on how well or poorly we represent Christ.” Sad, but very true!
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,” Col. 4:5-6
God do not have any favourites
For God does not show favouritism. Romans 2:11 NIV
When my sister visits, we always have a great time. My sister and I are on different journeys, but I know she has a heart for God. On one of her visits, we sat down on the bed and we created our ideal church. Who would we want to attend? Together, we agreed that we would welcome every one. We didn’t care who you were or what you did, we wanted you there. For if the Church wasnt accepting of those who were different, where would they go? The pub will definitely welcome them and we might never see them again.
If someone thinks he or she is somebody when really they are nobody, they are only deceiving themselves. You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done.Galatians 6:3-4 GNB
Can you imagine this church! Yes, just imagine the diversity! The people with dreadlocks, tattoos and the “hairy biker” crew in the front, my girl Georgie would be with this group! I can see myself with the first timers, the ones with the scared look on their faces, totally unsure of why they were in church, the ones who do not really know who or what to believe. Yes, I’ll love to provide some reassurance to this group. I can see Shan with the single mother and all three of her children. My sister will sit next to the pregnant teen, the one who was abused all of her life and was finally seeing a bit of hope. If only she can find someone in the church to confide in, how happy she will be. Then there’s my girl Shanta, she will welcome the “show girl” ( oh how I hate these terminologies) who just finished her night shift. Yes, I can just hear her opening up to Shanta, telling her how much she wants God to save her. Shanta begins to minister to her in song and in the end we embrace her with love. Oh what a sight to behold, all of God’s children working to build each other.
How wonderful this will be!
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.John 8:7
Jesus reminds us that we are all sinners, therefore we cannot judge others. God loves the sinners and unbelievers, as much as he loves you and I. He truly does not have any favourites, as he wishes for everyone to be saved. Therefore, I must live by biblical instructions if I am a servant of God. Although this may seem difficult to do, I know that I must learn to engage positively with outsiders. The Bible provides us with many instructions, therefore with God’s help we will be able to be obedient to God’s teachings.
Tonight, I pray that we can be gentle and kind towards all. We do not know the plans He has for those who have not yet found Him, so teach us how to be gentle with them. Let us be considerate and wise in our responses, let our language be tasteful and let our attitude be welcoming.
Lord, if it is your will, I pray that those who are reading this blog will have an encounter with you. It is possible that through this encounter, they will understand the power you possess. Then they will be able to understand your love in a personal way.
Lord, forgive those who have not represented you well, including myself. I pray that you will teach us your ways, let us be obedient, let us follow the instructions of the Bible so we can serve you well.
May God richly bless you.
Goodnight and God bless,