My daily devotional this morning was a reading on reputations; to be more precise, reputations before a Holy God.
The Scripture verse from Philippians 2:5-7 was quoted:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.” (NIV)
being made in human likeness.” (NIV)
Oh, that we would offer ourselves that freedom. The freedom of no reputation; not having to prove ourselves to others; no bending and twisting of our lifestyles and our beliefs in order to suit everyone.
Let’s face it: We are never going to be liked by everyone. We are not even going to be liked by every follower of Christ.
We are different.
We think differently.
We behave differently.
Our beliefs, although Christ centered and yes, biblically sound…many of them will go against the grain of other Christians.
The author of my devotional reported that he decided some time ago that he would not correct a mistaken representation of himself.
Again he quoted Scripture. Jesus did what pleased the Father (John ).
Yet, Jesus, although he was called a glutton and a drunkard, did not feel it necessary to explain himself to those who accused him. (Luke 7:34)
Many hated Jesus. Countless numbers thought Jesus to be evil.
What possible defense do I have against those who dislike me, when Jesus, my Lord and Savior, suffered hatred and insults from men who insisted they love God. Men who claimed to dedicate their lives to his Holy Word.
What I have to offer, I offer to God. My number One daily listener must be the Lord. It is to him I owe my faithfulness; it is to him I owe my very existence. It is to Almighty God, and he alone, that I must look to for guidance and truth.
He commands me to love others. Even in their disdain for me, I must pursue his order.
This is a stumbling block for many, yet it is behavior that honors God. It is the heart of God.
“Love one another.”
This Scripture is not found in merely one Scripture verse, but in many areas of Scripture:
- John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
- 1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
- 1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
- 1 John 3:11
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1 John 3:23
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
He made it crystal clear, didn’t he? We don’t have the option to dislike and simply agree to ignore or stay clear of. We are to constantly work with the heart of God to love one another.
After all, where would we be today if not for God’s unending and faithful love?
Where would we be?