Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rising above the Drama

It seems as though 'drama' is on the rise in our culture.

By 'drama', I mean negativity, gossip, slander, and criticism. Whether it's in politics, churches, circles of friends, it seems like this spirit of negativity is everywhere!

Maybe our media-saturated culture encourages it. 24/7 news, Twitter, Facebook...all make it very easy to level criticism at someone that we would almost never have the nerve to say to thier face!

It is so easy to put opinions out there that are hurtful, critical and flat-out rude...and then, someone responds...and others jump in...and you've got a full scale war of words on your hands!

Question: How is a follower of Jesus Christ to behave in this environment?

The easiest thing in the world is to join in and pile on...to add one more log to the fire. We know, though, that this is not what Jesus did--or would do. We know that the Spirit within us convicts us if we start to go over the line.

This calls for wisdom...fortunately, God promises to answer our prayers for that wisdom! "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." (James 1:5)

...but remember that the Wisdom from the Lord is NOT like the so-called 'wisdom' of this world! People who don't know the Lord will advise you to do lots of things which, on the surface, seem to make sense, but in the long run will make things worse.

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness." (James 3:17-18)

When others gossip about you...when they malign you...when they criticize you unjustly and you want to lash out, don't! Let thier 'smallness' and negativity expose them for who and what they are. As for you,

"Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord
...Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."
(Romans 12:17-21)

It can be difficult to take this position. It can be tough to let others speak poorly of you without retaliating (again, the need for wisdom--sometimes it is warranted to straighten things out). Ultimately, we must strive to please God, not people...and we must lean on Him to defend us.

In the long run, He will.

So...when the negativity and gossip starts; when the anger directed at you for standing up for truth comes; when the 'haters' come out because of jealousy, and so on...rise above it!

Let God defend you!

Lean on Him for strength!

God is your fortress and strength!

He WILL give you victory!

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