1 John 4:4
Over the last two weeks, I have asked one of the key questions of our time, “how do you detoxify a situation that you do not have the power to change on your own? I answered that question by saying, “you align yourself with someone more powerful who can” (1 John 4:4). I then gave some basic practical tips that could help those who trust in Christ shine his light into darkness and season society with his flavoring (Matthew 5:13-16).
These practical tips included: greet those you meet, return wrongs with rights, beautify your tongue – by which I meant speak words of blessing and not of cursing, kill with kindness, don’t say everything you think needs saying on every topic, take your cues from Christ and not the world, and finally leave room for God’s vengeance.
These seven tips represent a sampling of the Bible’s teaching on Christian living. While many hail the teachings of Christ in these regards, anyone who has taken them seriously will tell you they are near impossible. How did Jesus himself practice what he preached?
Jesus greeted us by coming down to us when we refused to come up to him. When we did him the ultimate wrong – taking his life – he used it to give those who trust in him new life (Acts 5:30-31). He did something no other person on earth has ever done, he tamed the tongue. He spoke words of great kindness, but often shared his wisdom in parables because hard hearts could not handle the truth (Matthew 13:10-17). He did not entrust himself to people (John 2:24-25) but took his cues solely from his Father in Heaven (John 5:19). He left room for God’s vengeance at his first coming, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17).” He knew judgement would come at a later date (Matthew 25).
Here we have a man so beautiful in his behavior, we can hardly endure standing next to him. He has every right to condemn us, but instead he invites us to follow him (John 10:27). Will you confess your inability to live the righteous life God intended for us and place your trust in the only one who has lived this righteous? The only way to detoxify our predicament is to trust in him who is stronger than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).