2001-11-10 - Not Always Meek and Mild
Originally Published 1998-02-27
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Sometimes we have the idea that Jesus was always gentle and mild, but that's just not the case. There is a time for being firm. Jesus didn't hold back when there someone was trying to circumvent God's will, even when that someone was a dear friend like Peter.
(Mark 8:31-33 NASB) And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
Sometimes we don't want to make waves; we want to maintain peace at all costs. It's not fun or easy to confront people. But sometimes it's necessary. We may think it's unkind, but actually it can be more unkind NOT to - it isn't going to help someone to grow spiritually or emotionally, if they are not held responsible for their behavior or words. Sometimes the truly loving decision is to confront someone, or a system. At times, if no one takes a stand, evil will triumph. What if no one had stood up against Hitler? Or slavery? What if everyone thought "someone else will do it?" Sometimes we need to stand up for Christ, for Christian values. As a friend of mine says, "God doesn't need undercover Christians, secret agents!" So be the one who makes a difference. The next time you are tempted to remain quiet to keep the peace, make sure the peace is God's will. Pray about it, ask for God to give you discernment, and the words and courage if He wants you to speak up.
Dear Father, please help us know when it is time to be silent, and when it is time to speak up. Give us the words and courage to lovingly confront, when it is Your will. In Jesus' name amen.