Thursday, June 6, 2013

Don't Let Their Sin Make You Sin

by Donna L. Watkins

In our daily lives we will cross paths with many prisoners of sin.  People who have not chosen to follow the walk and talk and character of Christ.  They become a prisoner of the devil because they allow him to use them.

The devil can't do anything to any one without their agreement.  He's a spirit, so he can't operate in the physical realm.  He needs a body and mouth to help spread his evil to others.

When you are attacked, rejected or offended at somebody's actions, you get to choose how you're going to respond.  The sin in them only wants to duplicate itself in those around them.  Ever notice how some people are just downright miserable?  They're being used by the devil and it has become a lifestyle for them.

Don't let the sin against you, from whatever attack they may take, produce sin in you.  We are to respond to offenses like Jesus.  He wouldn't ask us to do something that wasn't possible, so we do get to choose to lay aside our retaliation or vengeance and choose to love instead.  If we can't imagine getting to the love stage, we can at least not react in a way that places us as equal to the evil that's already been brought up.

"Love covers a multitude of sin" (I Peter 4:8).  When we choose to love somebody rather than be angry and use our mouth for the devil, we cover a lot of sins.  The sin we would create by responding in an unloving manner and the sin of whatever the person did against you.  That's pretty powerful!  When you think about it, it makes you want to do it just to get a power high, right?

Truth is when we respond the wrong way, our mind is on ourselves.  We don't have any concern what the person is dealing with that hurt us.  Compassion for those who sin against us is the proof of love.  When we can begin thinking of THEM rather than OURSELF.  See them as a prisoner being used by the enemy.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia - Athens, GA
© Donna L. Watkins - Tri-Color Orchid
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The devil just wants to stir things up and when we respond in a way other than with compassion and love, we are serving the devil and have put ourselves in his hands to be used.  I don't like the sound of that, so I have found that there's not much I care to respond to when the devil sends a prisoner my way, because I now picture the person with the devil having a neck hold on them.  Christ has given us "life abundant" as our baseline and we don't have to place ourselves in the devil's camp.

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:27-31).

And again, “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:35-36.

Notice that Jesus says that the Father is kind even to the ungrateful and wicked.  Seems downright unfair isn't it?  But if we are humble enough to admit it, we're all ungrateful and wicked in our flesh at times in life.  So we need to grateful that He is kind to the ungrateful since the group will include us at times.

Mercy is a part of God's love for us and with Christ in us through salvation, we have the ability to spread that love and mercy around.  It may be that we are the only Jesus they will ever see ... and our response to them may be enough of a shock to make them choose not the let the devil continue to use them.  They may want to know how to live more like Christ ... be that person and there is great reward in Heaven (vs. 35).

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