Words from the Heart for Thursday July 21st, 2016
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.
2 Timothy 2:24-25 (NLT)
The characteristics described are not just for church leaders, but should be the pattern of life that every Christian emulates. How are you growing in gentleness to those who are difficult?
The First World War had a profound impact on Canadian nationhood – it can be argued that it was the single event that birthed Canada as an independent and maturing country. The war accelerated the transformation of the British Empire into the British Commonwealth and demonstrated Great Britain’s military and economic reliance on the self-governing dominions. Most of the principal Commonwealth heads of government recognized this, and saw clearly in their wartime contributions the route to greater independence and standing within imperial counsels. Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden orchestrated a massive national effort in support of the mother country, but also demanded that Great Britain recognize Canada’s wartime sacrifices with greater post-war autonomy. Canada signed independently the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war, and assumed a cautious, non-committal role in the newly established League of Nations.
I often take time on Christian websites, and have my favourites. I also like to read articles about the Christian faith on non-Christian and even atheist websites. It helps me understand how those who oppose the Gospel think. What I read there, and the responses to the articles and blogs, often breaks my heart, and I see pain coming from hearts that have suffered at the hands of religious people who have not represented Jesus and His Kingdom well. But what also grieves me are the comments that Christians put on in response. Many of them are hateful and argumentative. Those who write such comments need to heed the words of Paul to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:24-25: “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.” When we respond to those who oppose us, we must always do so with kindness and gentleness. By doing so, we show the love and compassion of Christ for them. We may see the anger expressed by those who have not given their lives to Jesus, but we must not respond in anger. We are called to be patient with difficult people, to use Paul’s words. We are to instruct with the love of Jesus, praying that He will change their heart.
These have been words from the heart.