I was out driving a while back and it happened, you know you look in the rearview mirror and the person behind you is so close you can see the coffee stains on their teeth. You try to speed up but they are right there in perfect tailgate form. Now maybe you might think they must have something important to do or heading to an emergency and seek to pull over so they can pass, but I have to confess that was not my reaction…I got irritated! And sad to say I slowed down a bit. Finally, the guy sped around me and I think he was mouthing a thank you, or maybe some colorful metaphors or choice expletives with hand gestures. Anyway, as I traveled down the road I noticed a police officer that had pulled over someone and was giving them a ticket. And guess what? It was the guy who was tailgating me. I was left with a choice in my reaction.
This choice hits us all the time when we experience people who are not nice, or do wrong, or who are even evil. What will our reaction be and will it be one that reflects Jesus and His attributes. Will it be a reaction where we let love show? Here are a few Bible verses that should shape our reaction and life choices:
Proverbs 24:17-20 17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him. 19 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, 20 for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
Now sure when we see justice it does bring joy.
Proverbs 21:15 15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. Yet we are not to gloat, not to get pleasure from, not to think of ourselves as better because “they got what was coming to them” but to be thankful justice is served, yet still letting love show by being compassionate, forgiving, kind, and…
Luke 6:27-29 27 “But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
That’s letting love show.
I know I can be all too quick to gloat and celebrate when people who are not nice to me face difficulty, but that’s not reflecting our Lord’s style at all. Jesus loved all, and so should we.
So, as I passed the tailgater getting a ticket, I started to get all excited and puffed up, but the Holy Spirit reminded me I am no better. I’m a fellow sinner, and maybe this person was on the way to the hospital to see his dying mom or their life was spinning out of control and trying to get things done. Maybe they did not even notice or it doesn’t matter, I am called to love, so I prayed for him as I passed by and asked the Lord to forgive my vengeful spirit.
Seeking to Let Love Show with you,
Oh, by the way, I will be taking a few weeks off for our family’s second wedding and some vacation time. I may write a few of these email thoughts but for sure will be back at it mid-July. You are welcome to follow me on Twitter : http://twitter.com/mbmckay or visit my Blog:https://messagefrommike.wordpress.com/