Recently I found myself in a situation that had me trying to determine what my response and behavior needed to be toward someone.
Do I just stay quiet and reserved?
Do I stay quiet and act like nothing had happened?
Did I choose to address the situation? If so, were my words needing to be just sympathetic and spoken to validate them?
Or was ‘tough love’ what was needed? Hard words spoken with care and tenderness?
While I was mulling this over I was doing some reading and I was reminded that I am to be growing more like Christ in everyday situations I find myself in.
James Boice put it this way,
“According to the Bible, men and women are made to know and enjoy God, but when they turn their backs on God, as the unregenerate do, they isolate themselves from all that is spiritual in life and operate on a physical level only… It is a man’s calling to look up to God and become like God, in whose image he is made. But if he will not look up, the only place he will be able to look is down, and he will begin to behave like an animal.”
We are confronted a hundred times a day to look up and see the glory of God and act according to the beauty of that glory, which by the way, is in us (remember He said in John 17 that the glory God had given Him He has given to us so that we may be one as Father and Son are one.)
His glory is in us and it is ours now. And because of this we are able and called to reflect that beauty to those around us. So my earlier questions weren’t really the ones I need to be asking.
Instead I need to be asking myself how do I show God’s mercy in this situation?
Am I displaying graciousness to this person?
Am I being slow to anger?
Am I being steadfast in my love for them? Being faithful to forgive?
If I seek to answer these questions correctly the other questions will be answered rightly I think.
It also has the benefit of keeping me from looking down, as Mr Boice put it. I can not be wallowing in my fear if I am focusing on reflecting God’s glory. I cannot be rooting around in the muck and mud if I am looking up.