Instead of picking up the Bible and throwing it in someone’s face, what if we extend our hand to offer a sign of peace? Recently, one of my more liberal-minded Facebook friends reported that a well-meaning conservative Christian tried to correct her error by splattering a bunch of Bible verses on her wall with a summary that stated unless homosexuals turn from their evil way, they deserve to die.
As Christians, we wish for peace. We talk about wanting it, but we don’t always do the things that make for peace. Too often, we use our Bible knowledge in a way that offends others.
If we truly want to educate or improve the minds of others, let us show our good nature, the fruit of our spiritual life, and follow after the things that make for peace: humility, meekness and self-denial.
Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:19
Humility asserts no self-importance.
It assumes a lower rank and willingly works from that position. Christ’s church can be compared to a building. Believers are the building materials capable of being built up higher and higher by both words and actions. We can build by humbly sharing the Bible, praying with and for each other and by engaging in conversation about the experience of spiritual life. Does it do any good to destroy the work of God’s rising grace in another believer’s soul by using superiority to tear them down? I think not.
Meekness finds strength in mild manners.
It’s not pushy or angry. Arguing or attempting to force beliefs upon a brother or sister can weaken their faith, even cause them to turn away from God. Unkind words and unwholesome expressions do not contribute to the upbuilding of faith. No. The right knowledge, when shared in the wrong way, gains no ground. It creates only pain or defense.
Self-denial gives the glory away.
It refuses honor, but gladly passes it to another. When we handle knowledge incorrectly, we do not glorify God, only ourselves. It may be noble and right to embrace knowledge, but its goodness is diminished when we use it to offend others. Avoiding offense requires self-denial, instructing not by bare words of truth only, but by serving with loving actions. Building others up means dying to ourselves.
Many of us have allowed zeal to get ahead of caution and practical wisdom. And, this has snuffed out our efforts in using knowledge to transform thinking. Will you join me in promoting peace while wielding Biblical truths with humility, meekness and self-denial?