“It’s not them; It’s you.” The first time I heard Todd White say this, it blew my mind. He was referring to the way that Christians are so easily offended, and that even though the other person messed up or dropped the ball, it’s not them, it’s you. “How can that be?”, you might ask. After all, they are the one who offended me. Exactly. Jesus said that offenses would come, but woe to the one that causes them. He didn’t say woe to the one who was offended. Luke 17:1
When we put expectations on other people, we set them and ourselves up for failure. What if the tables were turned? How would you feel knowing that you had to perform perfectly for other people on a constant basis or risk their judgment if and when you fail. It’s not fair. It’s also not Christlike. The moment we list someone else’s failures, we are taking the enemy’s bait and putting ourselves in a place of self-righteousness. It’s pride. We are saying that we could never make the same mistake, and therefore, we have the right to judge and condemn others when they fail.
If we allow someone else’s actions to move us out of a place of right standing with our Father, then ultimately it is our problem. We are responsible for our reactions. Something else Todd says is, “Do not let someone else’s sin against you cause sin within you.” We are the stewards of our lives. It’s up to us to walk upright and in a place of integrity. We might say, “They should have never done that” or “they ought to have known better than to have said or done that.” That’s right. They shouldn’t have done it; But, maybe you should have known better than to act or respond the way that you did.
BE HOLY, BECAUSE I AM HOLY
1 Peter 1:16 We can’t expect to live a holy/righteous life if we are not actively seeking the One who is holy and righteous. We are constantly under the influence of the world and its wisdom, which the Bible tells us is sensual and demonic. James 3:15 We have to renew our minds. Romans 12:2 Responding to ungodly people (sometimes Christians) in a godly way, can only be done by spending time with the Father and taking on His likeness. The Bible says that the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The beatitudes (the attitudes of being) tell us that when people insult us, persecute us, and falsely say all kinds of evil against us because of Him, that we are to rejoice and be glad, because our reward is in heaven. It doesn’t say withdraw, lick your wounds, call somebody and have a pity party, or constantly remind that person how they hurt us.
The Bible tells us that Jesus provides a way out of every temptation, even the temptation to be hurt or offended. 1 Corinthians 10:13 People are always going to let us down (if we let them). But, if our hope and trust is in Jesus, the One who overcame the world, the one who cannot fail, rather than people, then no matter who or what comes against us, we can still shine in the midst of adversity.
Final thoughts: Love others. See them the way Jesus sees them (worth dying for). Don’t wait for someone to get cleaned up before you can love them. After all, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. “Anyone who shows no loving-kindness will have no loving-kindness shown to him when he is told he is guilty. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 12-14