by Dr. Paul Chappell
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.”
Whenever there is an injustice, there is an opportunity to show God’s grace in our response.
In his book Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis wrote, “Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor, act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”
Loving others can be difficult when they have wronged us. But rather than becoming upset at injustices and demanding vengeance, we should look to Christ for help and show His grace through our responses.
In James 2:1—4, Christ shows us how to respond in love, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?”
God doesn’t want us to have respect of persons. Everyone is equal in His eyes, no matter their economic or social status. Christ desires that we would love everyone around us and show them His grace.
Paul says in Philemon 9, “Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.” Paul was beseeching Philemon to show love and grace to Onesimus. Verses ten and eleven in Philemon explain how Onesimus did not deserve Philemon’s love and forgiveness, but Paul encouraged Philemon to show God’s grace upon Onesimus.
Are there people you know that you find him hard to love? Maybe they have wronged you or caused you some pain through an injustice. When you face injustices, think about the injustices Christ faced while on earth. He was rejected by the people He came to save, kicked out of several cities including His hometown, falsely accused, spat upon and mocked, denied by some of His disciples, sentenced to death by a mob of His own people, beaten beyond recognition, and crucified on the Cross. Christ endured these injustices while still reaching out in love to those around Him.
When you face injustices or an unfair situation, remember what Christ went through. Ask Him for strength to respond correctly, and show Christ’s grace by reaching out to others in love.
To find out more about Dr. Paul Chappell, or to find out how to more effectively pray for him, visit his blog at paulchappell.com.
Source: Daily in the Word.org