Let’s just start with you can’t do both. You can’t be mean and call yourself a Christian. Well, I suppose you can, grace being what it is and all. But really, being a mean Christian? Don’t you think the world hates us enough?
Look at these two and take a lesson from nature. They are similar in that they are both shore birds, but they are very different from one another as well. Yet, as I was watching them I saw no animosity displayed by either. As a matter of fact, the bigger sandpiper is helping the smaller plover out by allowing him to have the scraps from his table, as it were. He could have easily chased the smaller bird away been left undisturbed to enjoy his meal, except for that photographer who keeps bugging him. The plover waited patiently for something good to come popping out of the sand. I see no meanness here. Why can’t people be like that.
There is also a lesson in this post from Ron Edmondson, a pastor in Lexington, KY. You will have to go read it because I haven’t asked his permission to post it here, though I am certain he would give it.
Here is a another lesson about not being mean. It comes from Jesus and is found in The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells us to not be mean. He says such radical things as, don’t be angry, and if you are angry go and be reconciled before worshiping (23-24). Settle your disputes before they get to court (25), don’t retaliate for an insult, but go the extra mile as you seek to heal relationships (38-42). In short, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (44).
Growing up, I remember singing a song that I don’t hear much these days. It had a great simple yet very powerful message. I remember singing it a lot. We sang it, because we believed it, and I am convinced we lived it as best we could. The song is, “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love.”
Do they. Does the world know we are Christians by our love, or do they look at us and think, “see how mean they are to each other”?
Let’s set an example for others. Not be so mean. Actually be nicer. A kinder, gentler breed of Christians. Let’s learn how to disagree with one another the right way. Full of grace and truth. Let’s love one another. And, demonstrate the peace of Christ to those who are seeking peace. —Ron Edmondson