4:8 – What Are You Putting Into the World?
#faithbites #faithjourney putting
What are you putting into the world? Is it love, kindness, and compassion? Are you sharing hate, anger, and division? Is it a combination? Do you even know what you are putting into the world? Are you aware of how people are taking your actions and you words?
I have repeatedly been asking myself these questions. While I try to be open, honest, and understanding, I find myself angry, frustrated, and annoyed. Not always, but often, as I don’t see how others can see things in the way they see them. Sometimes, I just want to make someone understand. I know that’s not how it works. You can’t force anything.
Today, I ask if you have reflected on your contribution to the world. I’m not talking about building buildings or other physical things we normally reference by making an impact, I’m talking about the personal connection and impact on people’s lives.
What does it mean to be a positive force in the world? How does our belief in Jesus impact what we are putting into the world?
- James 5:20 – remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
- Galatians 6:1 – Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
- Luke 16:28 – for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
Our three verses revolve around a common theme of how we treat others when they sin. The same approach can be used for any transgression or wrong doing. Are we putting out gentleness in to the world? Are we rebuking to heal and help the person or are we doing it out of anger or trying to be right? These are very big questions and at the heart of what it means to love our neighbors.
If we are gentle, kind, and use God’s word to help rebuke and teach, then we are putting goodness into the world. If we are vindictive, angry, or spitful, then we are only putting sin into the world.
While the ink above is black and white, sometimes it is very difficult to determine what is kindness and what is anger or vindictiviness. The only advice I can give is, if someone said that to you, how would you respond? If you truly believe it to be kind, then kindness it is. If it’s vindictiveness, then that is what it is.
I’m not saying not to be strong and correct others. We need to do that. It’s how we do it that is at question.
As we end tonight, in the midst of everything crazy going on, how will you be the change you want to see in the world? What challenges will you give to yourself or others to respond in love, kindness, and gentleness?
Lord Jesus, thank you for your love. Thank you for letting us know that it is ok to rebuke each other when they sin. You tell us that we need to be together to help one another and grow together. You also remind us that we need to respond in love, gentleness, and kindness. This isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s very difficult when we are angry and upset. We ask for your guidance and your support as we try to reflect on how we are responding to others. Lord, forgive us when we mess up. Give us a second, third, and however many chances we need to get it right. We know if we confess our sins, you forgive. Please help us to grow together in the body of Christ to love, teach, and be one with you. In your name we pray, Amen.