Be Spirit Led to Give a Nobler Response

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved:) gether, And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-6 (KJV)

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do after that. God expects you to be patient and trust Him through all sorts of trials, no matter how big or small they are. Anger, bitterness as reactions to unfair treatment are sin. God expects a nobler response than to hate back or to binge on self-pity. Both behaviours demean noble character and are sinful. God exercises patience with us while we are steeped in sin. In the privacy of the chambers of your heart and mind, God speaks to you to change and be forgiving. Trust Him to make all things right for you now and beyond the painful situation that you are in. I know that it’s easier said than done. That’s why Christ is the best example to emulate.

Jesus had every reason to be resentful. Look at where He was born – in a manger. He was born a mom whose reputation was almost questioned by society as her pregnancy was “fatherless”. When other youths were enrolling at the prestigious schools in the neighbourhood, His mom home schooled Him. He was busy with house chores while others were running off to school. He was sentenced to a home classroom when his peers were playing in the streets or playground.

When He was older, the Pharisees were always looking to accuse Him for one thing or the other. Eventually the whole nation that He belonged to cried for His crucifixion by the Roman occupiers. What bigger betrayal can a young man experience than that? Yet, He remained calm, pure of spirit, pitying with love His persecutors. He even prayed for their forgiveness. Is it any wonder that He expects us to not return evil for evil. Not to damage our thought processes by conditioning our brains to respond angrily, impatiently or by nursing pain instead of letting it go. Christ was able to do that to leave us and example that we were to live by.

Christ is our example! He expects you and I to respond wholesomely to unfairness. When you do otherwise, you sin and let Him down. You can only repent by acknowledging that you are wrong to respond negatively. Prayerfully confess the vindictive attitude so that you get the help to create a new attitude. It takes time to change old behaviours and default attitudes. You have them because you have created them out of choice. Rather than choose to forgive, you choose to hate. You cannot love one whom you have not forgiven. Unlike God who loves us while we are still in sin without even thinking about it, we fallible humans must make it a conscious choice to do so.

It takes time to change negative behaviours but it is not impossible. You were not born with those negative behaviours. You learned them by making choices inclined towards them until they became your habits. You can replace those bad habits by choosing to think and act in the opposite way. Pray for the Holy Spirit to raise your awareness. Catch yourself thinking and take note of your thought patterns. If they are negative, which they will most likely be, decide for and act to change them. The more you do that consistently, the more you will teach your heart and mind to have a positive attitude as the default setting for everything you do. That is how we cultivate faith, by letting the Holy Spirit lead.

It is not easy to respond in a noble manner when treated unfairly, but it is not impossible. Pray the Scripture in Ephesians 4 v 13 – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Day by day as He reveals areas needing repentance in your habits, listen to the Holy Spirit and change your ways. Ask Him how, and he will empower you with the skills.

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