I Love America: Christian’s Responsibility to their Community and Family
BEHAVIOR FOLLOWS BELIEFS
What we believe will affect our behavior. All of it. Yes, all of it. It is an obvious truth that what I hold dear as my beliefs will determine my actions. Think on this: what if we Christians, governed by our core beliefs, acted out those beliefs in our daily lives? I’m talking about the way we drive, the way we behave at our kids’ ballgames, the way we treat family members, the way we treat neighbors, etc. What kind of world would we have if all Christians lived by the ethic of Christ, namely to love our Lord and love our neighbor(s) as we love ourselves? It is a sobering thought to me because I am sure of what I believe, but I slip up way too often in the behavior department.
Monday…We have a weird view of love because we do not define it as it should be defined. When Jesus said to “love” our neighbor, He was talking about a love that may not include “like.” There are folks I definitely do not want to be around (a suicide bomber comes to mind), but I am to love that person and want them to be saved. This is one reason why I Peter 3:15 is so critically important.
Tuesday…My mother had me memorize Scripture when I was very young and I am so very, very glad she did! One of the first verses I memorized was Matthew 5:16 which basically says that I am to behave myself and do good things so that God is glorified. Have you thought lately how important that is, given the fact that God is often blasphemed? Bottom line: if I do good things, God just may be given praise. Reason enough to behave myself!
Wednesday…It happened again last week. You may have seen the video as a 12 year old boy is screamed at by an irate parent for the way he was umpiring a baseball game for a group of very young children. More parents got involved, a fight ensued and the kids ran from the field screaming. “I would never do that”, we may say to ourselves, but I am ashamed to tell you that I have raised my voice at those types of venues more than once. What must people think of me/us sometimes because of the way we act in public? We all can do better. Sometimes it is a matter of doing something positive instead of doing something negative—or doing nothing at all. Google the phrase, “walk worthy” and see all of the Bible verses that pop up.
Thursday…Christians are to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in the world. Jesus said so. Salt preserves, was used as a mild antiseptic and yes, it can sting. Salt also adds flavor. Light exposes, protects, guides and erases fear, among other things. Look over those lists again. Get the picture?
Friday…What makes you angry? Slow drivers? Fast drivers? Your neighbors’ dog? Your neighbors? Kids in your yard? James 1:19 says that we are to be “slow to anger”. Good advice! By the way, does God get angry? Yes He does! Frequently. But even God is slow to anger. I’ll tell you what ought to make us Christians angry: the fact that the Devil/Satan is likely ruining the life of someone you know. In love, you can do something about that. Let’s try to live in our communities so that Christ is exalted. That is how we can bless our communities and our nation.
by Dale Holzbauer