(March 06, 2022) Carol Round challenges us regarding our behavioural attitude…
Jesus speaks clearly in Luke 6:31 as to what our behavioural attitude towards others should be!
Here’s how the Message version reads: ‘Here is a simple rule of thumb for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!’
If you were to walk through the front door of my house, you’d be able to identify my favourite colour.
After a brief look around my living room, you’d know red is my favourite. I chose neutral colours for my furniture but use colourful red pillows, candles, and other decor to liven up my living space. You’ll also find pops of red in my kitchen.
Other decor throughout my house reveals my identity as a Christ-follower. On my bookcase, are mementos of my trip to the Holy Land in 2010, including a small statue of Jesus washing Peter’s feet. On another shelf, one of my favourite framed pictures is displayed.
In the painting, Jesus is shown writing in the sand beside a woman who has been accused of adultery. In John 8: 3-11, we read about the Pharisees who tried to trap Jesus into condemning this woman to death because of her sinful behaviour. They want to stone her. However, Jesus tells the Pharisees, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’
What our behaviour reveals to others
Remember the story of the Good Samaritan?
In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus is confronted by an expert in the law who asks Him, ‘Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? (v 25).’
When Jesus asks him about the Law – what is written in it, and how do you read it – the law expert replies, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbour as yourself’ (v 26-27).
Jesus tells him the answer is correct, and adds, ‘Do this and you will live.’
When we try to justify our behaviour
However, to justify himself, that ‘expert in the law’ asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’
Justifying our behaviour by giving excuses or demanding more answers is what we often do when we want to prove we’re right!
In the scripture above, Luke 10:25-37, Jesus goes on to share the story of the man who was headed to Jericho from Jerusalem. On the way, he is attacked, beaten, and stripped of his clothes and belongings. He is left half dead.
Three men pass by on the road, a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. The first two ignored the injured man and passed by.
The third showed compassion, bandaged his wounds, and took him by donkey to an inn. There, he tended to his injuries and paid the innkeeper to look after him until he returned and could reimburse him for any extra expenses.
Finishing the story, Jesus asked the expert in the law, ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ (v 36). Replying, the expert in the law reponded, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise’(v 37).
Go and do likewise!
We can always justify our behaviour… but that doesn’t change the fact that as Christians, we are judged by our actions as well as our words!
Sometimes, we might feel as if we’re under a microscope. We can wear a cross around our neck, put Christian bumper stickers on our cars, and still exhibit un-Christlike behaviour. Yes, we’re human, prone to give in to our carnal nature.
Our carnal natures can only be quelled by surrendering to Christ, reading and studying scripture, attending corporate worship and Bible studies. Even then, it’s a daily surrendering to Him that keeps us in check.
If we find our identity in Christ, our actions will reflect it. As Jesus says in Luke 6:31, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’
Carol Round is an international self-syndicated Christian columnist and author, following her passion of using her writing to inspire others. Carol’s encouraging articles have appeared in national and international publications and she especially loves hearing from readers.
Recommended: Journaling With Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God, a creative call to an authentic, intimate relationship with Christ through the art of prayer-journaling. Carol sensitively guide you as she openly shares her own intimate journaling journey, initially borne of pain, and now bathed in promise – the hope of healing in Jesus (Amazon: https://amzn.to/2pP5Yr6).Links: A Matter of Faith weekly column: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.carolaround.com.