Do you live your life in such a way that you attempt to be conscious that you are manifesting Christlike behaviour? I would not say that I always do, but it is what I would like to do all the time so I am working on it: As a man thinks in his heart so is he (Prov 23:7), I therefore believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Impartiality and love towards one another is high on God’s list of things that pleases Him because He is a God of relationship.
In my bible reading one of the scriptures was Proverbs 14:20-21
“20 The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.”
21 It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.”
God is speaking to us about the type of person He blesses; one who does not despise the poor but rather helps them. A “poor neighbour” in this context is a person who may literally live next to someone or know that person who sees themselves as more superior than them because they are richer. The “superior” one despises them and does not want to associate with them simply because they are poor or less well off. This kind of “I am better than you because of my economic status” behaviour or attitude is not often deliberate or conscious, it is often inbred and rooted in upbringing or the tendency to conform to ungodly societal norms and reasoning.
It is however not the kind of attitude or reasoning befitting a member of the Kingdom of God or truly born again believers in Christ. We must not be conform to the world’s class distinctions or how to behave towards people who are different to us in anyway, be it economically, socially, racially or culturally.
The meaning of “despise” is to look down on or to loathe and the opposite of despise is love, cherish or appreciate. God requires us to love, cherish and appreciate our fellow human being whether they are Christians or not and regardless of their background.
In fact James expresses true religion as such “pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27 NLT).
God does not only assess Christian character according to the degree of holiness in the traditional sense of the word i.e overcoming sinful acts like hatred, unforgiveness and sexual immorality, but also according to the way we treat one another, especially the less fortunate or more vulnerable and needy.
Jesus also said that whatever care is given to the needy (i.e feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and caring for the sick) is as if it is done unto him. Those who do this are counted among his true disciples or “Sheep” (Mathew 25:31-46).
Indeed the manner in which we relate to one another that pleases God is defined as true godliness and reaps heavenly rewards and affirms our salvation.
When we demonstrate our love to the “poor neighbour” by affirming them as being significant and helping them, God blesses us (Prov.14:21). This is in actual fact obeying the two greatest commandments. It is our Love for God that compels us to love ourselves the way He loves us (we need to receive His love) and as a result we are able to express love or compassion towards others. This is what I call the cyclical or “domino effect” love bond of the New Covenant. When we are in Christ, we are expected to love as God loves for He is Love (1John 4:8).
May God help us to be perfected in His sacrificial and unconditional love so that we demonstrate it to our brethren and the unsaved!
The Apostle Paul said “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28 NLT).
It is clear that this verse refers to the Kingdom of God as having people of all races, backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, social/economic status and genders. What we must also realise is that it indirectly refers to the kind of mindset expected of this melange of God’s people.
Those who belong to Christ are ones with a Kingdom mindset and this mindset says “all these people within the Body of Christ are united with me and I with them through Christ and therefore in God’s eyes we are all of equal worth” and such a mindset is in agreement with the following statement “If I came into the Christian faith with prejudices in relation to certain races, culture, nationalities or “classes” of people, I must acknowledge and confess these sins and ask God for forgiveness.”
“9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9 NLT)
It is worth noting that many people are wounded because of afflictions in interpersonal relationships or past family problems so that although in Christ, and desire to, (because we are one in God’s love) they fail to express the God kind of love to others.
We cannot love, forgive or overcome prejudices and learnt behaviour that causes us to mistreat others in our own strength. We must speak to God honestly about our weaknesses and trust him. This is a sign of obedience and humility which pleases Him and results in His manifested presence (John 14:21,23/1 Peter 5:5).
God is able and willing to transform our lives by delivering us from mindsets and attitudes of the world and healing us physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Isaiah 61:1-3 reminds us of God’s transforming power through Christ:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” (KJV).
we thank you for your everlasting love and faithfulness. We are grateful that you remind us of what is important to you as we walk out our Christian life day by day. We bring before you all our attitudes and actions towards our fellow human beings which do not glorify you and grieves your Holy Spirit and ask that you would forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Uproot from within us anything that causes us to act consciously and unconsciously in ways contrary to your will or commands, for our desire is to always obey and please you.
When we are weak you are strong and so we ask for your supernatural strength and enabling in all that we do so that we do not conform to the evil world systems and attitudes even when we relate to others.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 3/05/2016