Thursday, January 19, 2017
Without a doubt, every one of you has heard someone say something very negative about a friend, family member, or loved one. I bet it hurt you deeply and maybe even drew an unchristian response from you. Why? It is because of your love for the person in question. In fact, these are some of the characteristics of true love: It does not dishonor others. It keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil, and it always protects and trusts. (See I Corinthians 13:5-7) In other words, true love does not believe in gossip and will generally dispel slander when it is directed at a loved one.
If you are, in fact, troubled deeply right now because someone reported something negative to you about someone you love, I want to remind you of this valuable advice in Philippians 4:8: The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) says it this way: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” In other words, we are to dwell on positive things and not on the negative. We are doing the accused a big injustice if we entertain the idea that perhaps what we heard was true. If we did, we believed the story without an investigation and we did not think better of that person. We did not brush away the negative thought like we should have. That is not true love. We owe it to our brothers and sisters in Christ to always think the best about them.
One sure way to dispel those troubling thoughts quickly is to go to God immediately. That is the time to pray for the one accused because we love him or her deeply. That is the time to remember that God knows all about it anyway, that if there is any truth to the accusation, He knows how to deal with it and He also knows how to forgive, heal, and restore. When we offer a sincere prayer for that person, that’s where our part in the matter ends. Now, it is in God’s hands. In the end, we won’t think differently of the one accused and will love him or her just as much as before. And if we do that, others will pray for us when we too have been slandered or falsely accused. On that day, their prayers on our behalf will help us deal with our own anguish and heartache.
Gods word for today: (John 13:35) “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples: if ye have love one for another.”