|How do you reflect Christ?|
I honestly can’t recall my mother ever using the words “shut up” when I was young, and that’s probably a good thing. We (my spouse, daughter, and I) probably say it too often, but then, delicacy was never my first behavior choice. I put that out there, being brutally honest, to make my own point here.
However, to start things off, I refer to the Scripture:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith … (Gal 5:22).
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (Php 4:5)
Notice the words “gentleness” and “moderation”. These are in essence the same thing, a mildness of spirit that brings peace.
Now, let me say there are times when Christians need to speak up because, unfortunately, the secular non-Christian world sees our silence as acceptance and, often, weakness, as well. But the manner that we speak makes the difference.
Speaking gently, peacefully, is, anymore, harder and harder to do when we are bashed over the head with issues that go outside of our beliefs. As if head-bashing will change our minds in the first place. Yet, twice in the Scriptures are we told to spread the “gospel of peace”, which goes distinctly against that. (Rm 10:15;Eph 6:15)
Peace spoken in gentleness and kindness, with longsuffering and faith. We’re not walked ON in the process, but walked WITH, the other person able to communicate and not feel condemned.
Ah … condemnation. That’s the product of the head-basher. But again, the Word of God says it isn’t part of how we behave. (Rm 8:1) We neither give it to others nor receive it to ourselves, and frankly, as well-meaning as that author was, as correct of a point as they made, I was prompted, instead, to change my words to not be so crass, to maybe, next time, not say “shut up”, but “God bless you.”
And thus, to better reflect Christ. I wonder how that will make the difference in me … in you.
Suzanne D. Williams