As I begin this new week in January, I find myself asking the question…
“How do I deal with the evil, unjust, persecuted, sad, arrogant, lazy, and downright mean spiritedness of the world I live in?”
Now before you write me off as the greatest pessimist or possibly the most negative person you know, think about it.
Do we not wake up each day and face one or more of the negative, ugly issues I stated above?
Do we not wake up with a positive attitude and soon have that soured by the memory of a sad event? Hopefully, we push that sad event down and focus on the happy. Then we remember how that friend or colleague unjustly treated us and we find it hard to get ready for the day. We push that down as well and manage to get out the door. We get in line for a much needed cup of caffeine and the arrogant/mean (possibly incredibly sad) person in front of us curses at the barista for taking too long to wait on the person in front of him/her. We smile at the barista as she takes our order and attempt to bring some kindness into her day. We get to work or to the store or wherever our destination that day took us, and we are frustrated with the lack of dedication our co-workers or the store workers demonstrate. Frankly, we feel virtually abused by their laziness. We return home and turn on the nightly news and we are faced with all kinds of evil. There simply is not another word for it!
The day ends with us throwing our hands up in the air and asking God, “how can this be? How can it change and how can I survive it?”
In our outcry, I believe God whispers the answer. The real question is, do we listen and are we willing to apply the answer to our lives?
When we look at the words “MARK” and “BEAR” side by side, it paints a clearer picture for us.
To “BEAR” is to “Hold up under, to remain firm, to be capable of, and to press or push against.” It even has the definition of being brave and standing up under the suffering.
When we “BEAR” up under our culture and circumstances, we live out Christ’s commands and we “BEAR” the “MARKS” of a Christ follower!
A “MARK” is something that is visible. It is not hidden or covered up. It is a badge, a brand, a visible sign. It is so utilized that it has left an impression.
In other words, people will see it and notice the difference in our lives!
When we live like Christ we bear the marks of our Savior!
Romans 12 says that we will love genuinely, hold fast to what is good, show honor, and respect to others. We will not be lazy, we will serve the Lord with joy and gladness. We will be hope filled, faith filled, and constantly in prayer! We will bless those who persecute us and not curse them. We will rejoice with those who are happy and not be a “wet blanket” in their circumstance. We will live in harmony with others and treat everyone the same. We will seek to forgive anyone that wrongs us and will not hold it against them!
We will not seek revenge but will leave it up to God. We will feed the hungry and give them water to drink.
Overall, we will live out Romans 12:21, and not be overcome by our culture or circumstances…
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Speak Truth Love