“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
The above verse refers to the second part of the Great Commandment (Love God, Love neighbor), and is spoken to us by Jesus. Before you get set to engage in your next argument – whether you are instigating it or retaliating to something spoken unkind – remember you have a choice to make. You can either be blessed in the doing or you can suffer the consequences of your soon-to-be sin. How has openly disobeying God worked out for you in the past?
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” James 3:5
Fires destroy things in a very short period of time; things that have taken a very long time to grow or create. The words you are about to speak have the power to destroy – destroy trust, destroy friendships, destroy your witness for Christ. And although you can rebuild these things it will take a very long time to do so. Is blowing up at this person – which may make you feel better for a few moments – worth the cost of rebuilding?
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? James 4:1
What are you really arguing about? Does it really have to do with the choice the other person made? We are people of desires – we desire to be recognized, we desire to control, we desire to possess. Ask yourself this question – What am I desiring, more than glorifying God, that I’m willing to sin to get it, or sin if I don’t get it? Am I trusting God in this situation? Am I seeking God’s wisdom and counsel in this situation? Am I serving God in this situation by doing what would be pleasing to Him over doing what I want?
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that must be exercised to be effective. The emotions that we experience are real and they are God given. However how we choose to act upon those emotions is a free will choice – we can either choose to be blessed in the doing of the Word, or disciplined in disobedience. God allows us to choose and He will share his love with us either way. Praise God for His unending mercies!
Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.
© 2016 Michael Martin