Too often, people go about their daily business not paying attention to how they treat others but they are quick to notice how others are treating them. It is funny how this works as many people judge their behavior base on their intentions but base their beliefs of others on their actual behavior when, in reality, we are supposed to gauge our beliefs not on our intentions but rather, our behavior just like we do for others. This has been adopted as the golden rule which Jesus passed down: ”Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Scripture is clear on many things especially the way we interact and treat one another and while doing unto others as you would have done to you is simple, it’s really hard to actually live by this principle. From my personal experiences, it is this way for all of us at different times in our lives especially when we are younger in Christ. As we mature in Christ, we comprehend things much differently and are able to live and act differently but none of us are exempt from the weaknesses of this flesh especially when we are angry, upset, and/or tired. While the will may be strong, the flesh is still weak and God, in the human form of Christ, experienced this firsthand.
Many of us love interacting with other people regardless of how well we know them and God wants us to be at peace and bring joy to the world but we also must carry ourselves with discernment. Discernment is a term that is not taught in school buildings, college and university dormitories or classrooms or in many churches across this country as we are to be politically correct but discernment is simply the act of judging and gauging others, well. Scripture reads “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). From this reading, we are able to take away that we are to sincerely be on the watch for those who try to mislead.
The previous scripture may have confused a lot of people because they have been raised and taught not to critically judge anyone. Many within the church truly believe in a Christ that never judges or says anything critical and while Christ is all merciful and loving, He is also one that is wise and wants us to be aware of those who look to mislead us. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” but we are also instructed to hold on to what is good and not of this world: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
While we are not to discriminate against one another or to cast aside others who are different than we are, it is clear that God does want us to be on the outlook for wrongdoing. If we are to look out for those who seek to harm us, the only way we can do so is to look at their actions and behavior rather than simply what they say. Remember, Satan came with a silver tongue and knew all the words that Adam and Eve wanted to hear and he knows the things that we enjoy hearing so he will flatter us in the same manner, therefore, we must put on the full armour of God and see what people are truly about even if that means hurting someone’s feelings: “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:” (Isaiah 11:3).
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”–1 Thessalonians 5:21