Friday, October 3, 2014
October 3 – So evil has no place to stand
For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. (James 3:16-18 HCSB)
Selfishness is as natural to us as breathing. The first sin that was committed in the Garden of Eden was rooted in a selfish desire to please the flesh, and from that moment on, the seed of selfishness has taken root in the hearts of everyone born into this world. When we feel disrespected, misunderstood, unfairly treated, we can easily get riled up and allow evil to motivate our actions and reactions. But God shows us that this creates even more disorder and every kind of evil. We are not to allow these deep gut instincts to rule us or dictate how we behave.
It’s the hardest thing to be pure and peace-loving, gentle and complaint towards people who we know just want to harm us or tear down the things we have accomplished. But God calls that wisdom, and in the wisdom of God we find power. God even wants us to have mercy towards those who treat us unfairly and to cultivate peace. Through that, God promises the fruit of righteousness to be sown. That means all that is right and true will be borne in our lives – the opposite of disorder and evil.
This is a command and a promise when it comes to dealing with people. But don’t forget that the Bible is to be taken in its entirety. Ephesians 6 says there is a time for anger and aggression against the devil and what he tries to do to destroy the work of God in our lives and in those we love. We can actually be fighting the devil while being merciful to people.
What usually happens among Christians when a person wrongs them, is they fight in their flesh against that person, and displease God, and at the same time forget to fight against the demons that are present in the whole situation, and unwittingly please the devil very much. Their fight is all backwards and upside down.
Don’t fear that being peace-loving and gentle means that you are being weak. If you do this in obedience to God’s command, while also fighting the devil in your faith, you are promised that the fruit of righteousness will take root in your life, and evil will have no place to stand.