Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Surviving Other People’s Nonsense

By Allen White

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
   the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
   and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
   no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
   and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”
Matthew 12:15-21

After the confrontation with the religious leaders over the Sabbath, Jesus knew they were plotting against Him (Matthew 12:14). Jesus knew that one way or the other, His life would be offered to pay the price of our sins. This was His mission on earth. But, this was not the day for that. He left.

Jesus didn’t fight. Jesus didn’t challenge the Pharisees any further. He just left.

When people run out of reasonable arguments, they often turn angry and emotional. I witnessed a classic example of this a few years back.

Two relatively mature Christian men got into a debate in their Sunday school class over whether or not you could lose your salvation. One was a strong advocate in eternal security – once saved always saved. The other held to, I guess, eternal insecurity and the fear of backsliding.

As they ran out of biblical reasons for their theological positions, the debate turned into a dispute. They maligned each others’ character. They got red in the face. In my opinion, I think they were both on the verge of losing their salvation (just kidding).

What made sense to one was nonsense to the other. Once they had lost their senses, well, it got ugly.

Jesus knew Who He was. In Scripture prophecy clearly laid out who the Son of God was exactly. His mission was precise. Jesus didn’t come merely to win theological arguments. He also didn’t come to die on the wrong day.

Jesus wasn’t obsessed with what the Pharisees were thinking or doing. He focused on His life’s purpose.

We live in a world filled with nonsense. Christians are at odds by majoring in the minors. The devil is perfectly happy with Christians fighting each other. They have no energy left to fight him.

When someone gets in your face, are you confident in who you are? As a child of God, are you aware that you don’t need to win every battle? You don’t need to fight every fight.

Rather than hanging around with the Pharisees and proving He was right, Jesus chose to do good. He chose not to make Himself sick over the Pharisees’ nonsense. Instead He healed the ill. Often it’s better to be good than to be right. This is the way of love.

Who’s getting your goat these days? Who wants to debate merely for the sake of argument? Should you stay in it or walk away? Sometimes the best thing is to do some good.

Years ago, Dr. Carl Menninger was asked in a psychological conference what he would do if a distraught person on the verge of suicide contacted him. The audience expected Dr. Menninger to respond by advising intense psycho-therapy. Instead, he said, “I would tell the person to go to the other side of the tracks, find someone in need, and help them.”

Who needs your help today?

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