Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Bit of Name Calling

By Allen White

The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
Matthew 10:24-25

There’s a bit of name calling that goes on around our house. Our kids are preschool to elementary school age. The siblings try to outdo each other. Sometimes by achieving. Other times by putting people down. It’s childish. And, they’re children.

Sometimes the conversation will go this way, “You’re a baby.”
“I am not a baby.”
Then, the wise father steps in, “Son, are you a baby?”
“Then what does it matter what he says.” The message kind of sinks in, but nobody likes to be called a name.

In Junior High, I certainly didn’t appreciate being called “Wide Load.” Stop laughing. I had a good 30 year stretch of being thin. I’ve reverted a little.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to seek and save the lost. He never spoke an unkind word. He never sinned. Jesus lived His life exactly right. Yet, He was referred to as the “prince of demons,” Beelzebub, himself.

Jesus’ point here is that none of His disciples in the first century or in the twenty-first century are any better than He is. After all, we’re not perfect. We have sinned. And, we’ve uttered unkind words at times. If we offend someone, then we should expect a rebuke. But, sometimes as a believer people just don’t like us.

Who we are simply repels them. They don’t even know us, yet they don’t like us. This is a built-in mechanism. The enemy doesn’t want a believer getting close to an unbeliever. What we have might rub off.

Following Christ requires a thick skin. In the end, we win. In the meantime, things can get a little dirty at the bottom of the pile. The answer is not retaliation. The answer is extending God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). The answer is Jesus.

Who could you just do without? Who is that person that no matter what you can’t do right by them? They’ve put up quite a resistance. What if God was part of their life? But, they go to church… What if God was part of their life? Could He be using you to reach them?

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