Sometimes we live our lives by this law as well. We constantly react to what others do, and excuse it because of what the other person did first. Christianity is a life of action not reaction. My actions should not depend upon what other people do, but upon what is right and what is wrong. Any time I let someone else’s behavior “cause” me to do something; I am actually letting that person control me. How often have I said, “He made me so mad?” No, he didn’t. I let myself get angry. When I stand before the throne of God, I will not be judged on other people’s deeds but upon mine, no matter what the other guy did first.
Most of us know this, and readily spout the appropriate answers when called upon in Sunday morning Bible study, but when we get out in the world things are always “different.” No, they are not. These things apply to my relationship with my next door neighbor, my co-workers, my family, yes, even to that driver up in front of me! Then there is the matter of poor service in a restaurant, or a delay in the doctor’s office, or a faulty product that needs returning. All of these offer me a chance to act as a Christian, not react as an unbeliever who has no self-control. Yes, in our society we are allowed to voice our concerns over shoddy service and merchandise, but Christians never have the right to make a scene or be verbally abusive. By letting others control me, I am showing how weak I truly am, not how strong.
Christians control themselves—they do not let others do it. Is this easy? Not with Satan constantly whispering in my ear, “He had it coming.” Like Eve, I often listen to him. But this is how important ignoring that whisper is: I must constantly ask myself why I have acted as I have. If the answer starts, “Because he/she/they…” I am condemned already.
Jesus’ Laws of Motion:
For this is acceptable, if for conscience toward God a man endures griefs, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it if, when you sin and are buffeted for it, you shall take it patiently? But if, when you do well and suffer for it you shall take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, threatened not, but committed himself to him that judges righteously. 1 Pet 2:19-23
And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise. And if you love those who love you, what thank have you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to them that do good to you, what thank have you? For even sinners do the sane. And if you lend to those of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much. But love your enemies and do them good, and lend, never despairing, and your reward shall be great, and you shall be sons of the Most High, for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Luke 6:31-35