Proverbs 16-18 2 Corinthians 6
“We show we are servants of God by our pure lives, our understanding, patience, and kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by true love, by speaking the truth, and by God’s power. We use our right living to defend ourselves against everything.” (2 Corinthians 6: 6-7 NCV)
How do people know? Seriously, how do people know that you’re a follower of Jesus Christ? Paul noted a couple of ways to look at the proof of his status as a follower of Christ: the hardships he endured in working for Christ, and the purity of his life because of the presence of God in his life. In short, our relationship with God should make a difference. We shouldn’t let the problems that befall us as we live and serve each day deter us from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, nor should we give in to any form of sinful living because our lives are a testimony to the presence of God in our lives.
The gospel should make us more understanding and patient. It took a long time for God to make that clear to me, but I can testify that as God’s worked on me, I’ve shown a lot more patience. I’m not perfect in that area, but I’m a lot better. One area that most of us can use a lot more work on is showing kindness. There are some who claim the name of Christ who do an amazing job of practicing kindness. On the other hand, we have some who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ who are the meanest, orneriest cusses in the world. We see those folks featured in the news when they’re attacking others for their sins. We experience that meanness at church when the “holy ones” of the church gossip about the common church folk who aren’t as perfect as they are. There are times to deal with sin, but we need to do so redemptively. We need to draw people back to Jesus if they’re followers of Christ, and we need to make sure people know of His grace and goodness if they aren’t. It’s sad that too often, our efforts to be right about issues make us wrong in dealing with others. If God forgave all that I did without making me endure lightning, the least I can do is show others His mercy and grace without threatening the storm.
Lord, when people look at me and wonder about my relationship with You, may they see my hard work to advance Your kingdom, and a pure life that shows understanding, patience, and kindness.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.