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Under Pressure

  

Romans 12:9 – 12 Love in all sincerity, loathing evil and clinging to the good. Let love for our brotherhood breed warmth of mutual affection. Give pride of place to one another in esteem. With unflagging energy, in ardour of spirit, serve the Lord. Let hope keep you joyful; in trouble stand firm; persist in prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and practice hospitality. Call down blessings on your persecutors – blessings, not curses.

Our love for one another is to be sincere, genuine, not a pretense. With all our energy we are to serve the Lord, being fervent in that service. When we are in trouble, we are to stand firm and to persist in prayer. When problems arise we are to be at peace with everyone as much as is possible.

Do not let evil conquer you, but use good to defeat evil. Romans 12:19

The response I give to others when the pressure is on reveals what character I have within. Prov. 4:23 paraphrased says that what we are to watch very diligently what we allow into our hearts because all of what we do springs from our well of life. I have heard of this example before and I think it is gives us a good image of what we are like when the “chips are down”: If I have a rose on the floor and step on it with my heel, the fragrance of the rose is released and I can smell the wonderful fragrance. If I have a skunk under my heel and step on it….wheeeeeew….pheww what a smell! Yuck. This exemplifies how we are with our character. When the pressure is on, what “odor” do I give off? Am I faithful to those things that I spout off about God always being there for me? Do I exemplify unconditional love then too? Do I waver about in my faith that God is REALLY there to help me through this time? Do I push more into prayer and serving others when I am hurt and lonely?

Sometimes in relationships the issue is me – especially in marriage. Prov.27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. When I am in a problem with a friend or spouse, it is an opportunity for me to look inside myself to find what it is that I am not doing according to the Word. Where is my sin in this? Do I need to ask for forgiveness for my unloving acts? My anger? My selfishness? My unloving or disrespectful ways? Relationships build the practical application of the Word in our lives. It gives us the chance to become more mature in Christ, more holy and righteous in our living.

Relationships give us the opportunity to become better Christians. “When you suffer for doing what is right, this finds favor with God.” 1 Peter 2:20. If we get the mindset of a victim and resent others for their harsh ways, then we sin. The only way to heal is to run to God, His Word, and prayer so that our actions are those that manifest the love that Christ taught us. I can experience hurt, but it is my choice to hate.

I Peter 2: 26-17 Live as free men…show proper respect to everyone: love the brotherhood. Doing what is right in spite of what we perceive the response to be, is what Christ taught us. This is hard – yet I can do this because I know the One who lived it and died for it.

2 Responses to “Under Pressure”

  1. on 10 Apr 2007 at 3:25 pmPatty

    What a wonderful way to live. What great trust is needed and self control. His will and not ours. Your heart knows that this is right it is holy living. This is what Jesus was trying to teach. These are some of the keys to living a powerful life, and the benefits can be far reaching.now if I can only do it, I so want to.

  2. on 10 Apr 2007 at 7:35 pmMary Ann

    That is the great part. We can do it. You are so right that trust and self control are very important. Desire to do the things of God, discipline and obedience to His Word, love, all of it are available. One step at a time… I find that when I stumble upon actually doing some of this, life really does take on a peace and stability that is awesome. The tried and true ways that seem so foolish to others of prayer and denying self give us freedom to soar with God.

  

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