Focal Passage: Rom. 1:18-25, 28-32, 3:9-10
Many years ago I worked as a kindergarten teacher at a privately owned childcare center. The woman who owned the school had a way of instantly “getting to the heart of a matter.”
One morning, as she came into her office, I was waiting for her, breathing fire because I was so angry at another person.
My boss saw my anger, smiled, and said, “OK, tell me what is going on.”
I proceeded to do just that for about five minutes, and finally, as I slowed down, she laughingly told me, “I see. She just isn’t doing to suit you.”
Nothing she might have said could have stopped me any faster. She isn’t doing to suit me? Why should she have to “do to suit me”?
In our scripture passage, Romans 2:8 — “but to those who are self-seeking …” what could be more self-seeking than becoming irate over something someone did that did not suit me?
Our Lord showed me so clearly that I might become concerned or upset if people were not doing to suit Him, but suiting myself was not something to seek or desire.
I have not always succeeded since that time, but I do try to go take it to the Lord immediately if I feel the beginnings of anger or hurt over something someone does. Do I feel this way because I am concerned that they are not doing things my way? Am I concerned that they are not obeying God’s truth, or am I feeling some possibly imagined slight because I want things done differently? I never, never want to “exchange the truth of God for the lie” (Rom. 1:25).
“For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, as it is written” (Rom. 2:24).
What a terrible indictment, to cause the blaspheming of my Lord by others because of something I have done.
My son, Marcus, tells of working with a man who was always extremely negative. It seemed as though nothing ever went right in his life. Unfortunately, he claimed to be a Christian, and so whenever he left a room, those who heard his negativity would shake their heads stating, “Those Christians are such hypocrites.”
We know that, in many cases, the charge that unbelievers have against us, that of our being hypocrites, is both unfounded and unfair. Yet, as in this case, we have to always be on our guard, and constantly be in prayer, so that we can point others to Christ, instead of causing them to blaspheme Him.