“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life” (James 1:21).
I have a question for you (and for myself, too). Why is it that we as believers get upset when nonbelievers act like . . . well, nonbelievers? Why are we so surprised?
Salvation is more than a new morality code. It’s more than a different kind of behavior.
It’s a total transformation. The Bible uses the word regeneration when speaking of someone getting saved. Paul talks about becoming a new creation. Not a better version of the old creation, but a completely new one.
The question isn’t why nonbelievers act like nonbelievers, but why believers don’t act more like the faith they profess so loudly.
I love what my pastor Mike Glenn says: the world doesn’t hate Christians because they’re too different but because they’re not different enough.
If I really believe what I profess about how Jesus can take anyone at any point and rescue him or her from who they used to be and make them into something completely new, then my life should show it. I should be different.
I should talk differently for sure, but I should act in a way that lines up with all my verbiage.
That verse in 2 Chronicles 7 about God healing our land? That’s not directed at nonbelievers getting their act right. It’s about those who are called by God’s name, i.e. Christians, who turn and repent and seek God like never before. That’s when the healing happens.
. . .[If] my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health” (2 Chronicles 7:14, The Message).
Maybe it’s time to stop the finger-pointing and blame-assessing and maybe start praying.