This post is part of Lysa TerKheurst’s Uninvited Book Blog Tour, which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, click here: uninvitedbook.com/blog-tour
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Dealing with difficult people has never been one of my strong suits. When a person comes at me with a sarcastic comment or negative criticism, I immediately find myself on the defense. It is not uncommon for me, in these circumstances, to throw a sarcastic comment back their way. But, I never end up feeling good about it and it tends to fuel the fire, so to speak.
In Leviticus, Chapters 17 through 20, God gives His people instructions on how to live a holy and pure life. He deals with issues on idolatry; sexual impurity; having respect for your neighbors, parents, and the elderly – just to name a few.
All of these instructions God gives His people stress the importance of ignoring outside temptations and instead challenging us to live a holy and pure life, as Christ did.
Being Christ-like has always been a challenging and daunting task for me most days. It begs the question that I have to ask myself, “Am I taking my sin seriously?”
In this world we live in, it is so easy to be de-sensitized by sin. All around us we receive false messages through our radios, televisions and mobile devices that tell us living a life for ourselves is more important than living a life outside of ourselves. When, in reality, the more we listen to those false messages, the more we distance ourselves from the truth and the place where God wants us to be.
Hebrews, Chapter 10 reminds us that no longer do we have temporary forgiveness for our sins as in Old Testament times. Christ has granted us permanent forgiveness for his sacrifice of dying on the cross for our sin. Therefore, as Hebrews 10:22 (NLT) states, “let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”
Thanks to God’s Word and the sacrifice of His Son, we can be joyful that He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. What He does expect is that we align our hearts with His. Meaning, God only requires that we have a desire to live a life free from sin. Not that we will actually accomplish that goal.
What can we do then to live this pure, holy life that God calls us to? I believe, by distancing ourselves from the distractions and surrounding ourselves with His truth, the Word. Once we recognize our sin, it is also important to call it out to God and ask for His forgiveness.
I don’t need to let the sarcastic comments and negative criticisms of this world effect me. It is a choice. As the Apostle Peter states in 1 Peter 2:15 (NLT), “It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.”
The next time someone tries to damper my day with their negative attitude, I can choose to smile in response and offer a positive word, instead of a negative one.
Dear Holy Father, this world can make it so hard for me to live with a forgiving heart, as your Son did so graciously for us. Please give me the strength and clarity of mind to speak your truths. Let your praise ever be on my lips and your Word written on my heart. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.