1 John 4:4
How do you detoxify a situation that you do not have the power on your own to change? You align yourself with someone more powerful who can (1 John 4:4). These basic practical tips can help you shine Christ’s light into darkness and season society with Christ’s flavoring (Matthew 5:13-16).
Greet those you meet. The early Christians were instructed to greet one another with a kiss (1 Corinthians 16:20). Very few would be willing to go so far today, yet we fulfill this Church family rule with hand waves, handshakes, and a simple “hello”. The Church family rules, in most situations, were meant to overflow to the community at large. Greet the people you meet today.
Return wrongs with rights. During a time of intense persecution against the church, the Apostle Peter instructed his brothers and sisters in Christ, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).” Resist the temptation to fight fire with fire, rather pour some water on the hot tempers you encounter today.
Beautify your tongue. The Apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Ephesus to, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).” Jesus’ brother James said from the tongue comes both cursing and blessing and that no one has tamed it (James 3:5-12). Can you relate? With the power of the One at work in those who trust in him, seek to bridle that wild beast, that your words might leave a gratuity and not a debt.
Kill with kindness. Kindness is a word included in many lists in the Bible designed to describe how the life touched by Christ ought to be. C.S. Lewis demurred the trend in his own time of turning kindness into an emotion. This has only gotten worse since his time. Lewis said, “The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” I said kill with kindness. Perhaps, I should say kill your own pride by offering kindness.
We will look at three more practical tips next week.