Speak well of them

2017-04-28
Luke 6:27 NKJV

When we’ve been criticised or offended by someone, speaking well of them is usually the last thing we want to do. If we’ve been hurt by their words, we can often want to retaliate with our words. But, unsurprisingly, this is not what we’re being called to do. Jesus tells us to ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (Luke 6:27-28 NIV). It takes character, compassion and courage to be able to do this. At times, it may seem almost impossible. But with God’s help we can be the bigger person in the situation. We can turn the other cheek and treat others in the way that we want to be treated (have a look at verses 29-31). And when we respond in the way that Jesus is calling us to, a few things happen. Firstly, we show others that we’re able to rise above criticism by speaking well of the other person. We also defuse our ‘enemy’s’ criticism of us. When people hear us speak well of, and bless, a critic, their respect for us rises and they see us in a different light. People start to see us as fair-minded and generous. And, more importantly, it gives people a glimpse of the character of Christ through us. Our refusal to respond in a worldly way may even lead people to ask why (this could be a great evangelism opportunity). We might think that it’s a high standard to try and reach. But it’s the one that Jesus set, practiced throughout His life, and is calling us to live by today.

Praat mooi van hulle


Lukas 6:27 NLV

Toe generaal Robert E Lee deur president Jefferson Davis gevra is om sy opinie oor ‘n sekere offisier te gee, het hy ‘n uitstekende verslag geskryf. Een van die offisiere wat die verslag gelees het, was verstom en het vir Lee gevra, ‘Generaal, weet jy dat die man van wie jy so mooi teenoor die president verslag lewer een van jou grootste vyande is, wat nooit ‘n geleentheid laat verbygaan om jou te kritiseer nie?’ Lee het geantwoord, ‘Ja, maar die president het my vir my opinie van hom gevra. Hy het my nie gevra vir sy opinie van my nie.’ Dit vat karakter, medelye en moed om mooi van jou kritici te praat. Wanneer jy dit egter doen, gebeur drie goeie dinge: 1) Jy verhoog jou eie waarde. Jy wys dat jy bo kritiek uitstyg deur lof aan ander toe te ken. 2) Jy ontlont jou vyand se kritiek van jou. Wanneer mense hoor dat jy mooi van ‘n vyand praat, sal hulle meer respek vir jou hê en jou in ‘n ander lig sien. 3) Mense sien jou as regverdig en vrygewig. Dit neem min inspanning om terug lelik te wees, maar ‘n Christelike karakter is nodig om die ander wang te draai en hulle te seën. Jesus het gesê: ‘…Doen goed aan dié wat julle haat. Seën die wat julle vervloek. Bid vir hulle wat julle seermaak. As iemand jou op die wang klap, draai ook die ander wang… Doen aan ander wat jy wil hê hulle aan jou moet doen’ (verse 27-31 NLV). Dis ‘n baie hoë standaard om te volg, een wat Jesus daar gestel het en dwarsdeur sy lewe beoefen het. Hy roep jou vandag om ook daarvolgens te lewe.

Speak well of them


Luke 6:27 NKJV

When General Robert E. Lee was asked by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to give his opinion about a certain officer, he gave a glowing report. One of the officers in attendance was amazed at his words and said to Lee, “General, do you know that the man of whom you speak so highly to the president is one of your bitterest enemies, and never misses an opportunity to criticize you?” Lee said, “Yes, but the president asked my opinion of him. He didn’t ask for his opinion of me.” It takes character, compassion and courage to speak well of a critic. But when you do, three good things happen: (1) You increase your own value. You show you’re able to rise above criticism by bestowing praise on another. (2) You defuse your enemy’s criticism of you. When people hear your praise of a critic and their disdain for you, their respect for you rises and they see you in a different light. (3) People see you as fair-minded and generous. It takes very little effort to respond in kind to a critic, but it takes Christlike character to turn the other cheek and bless them. Jesus said: “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also…And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (vv. 27-31 NKJV). You say, “That’s a high standard.” It’s the one Jesus set, practiced throughout His life, and is calling you to live by today.

Locusts

2017-04-26
Joel 2:25 ESV

At the beginning of the book of Joel, we’re introduced to a scene of destruction. The prophet Joel writes that ‘the fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed’ (Joel 1:10 NIV). He goes as far as to say that ‘surely the people’s joy is withered away’ (v.12 NIV). One of the factors that contributed to this situation was a plague of locusts. We’re told: ‘What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten’ (v.4 NIV). We can sometimes feel that we’re in a similar sort of situation. We probably haven’t experienced the devastation from a literal plague of locusts, but we can feel that we’ve been under attack from other things. Our lives can sometimes appear to be falling apart. Things that we value are destroyed. Maybe our relationships break down, someone we love dies, our reputation is damaged by what other people say about us, we experience failure or fear, and we feel a million miles from God. When things like this happen, it wouldn’t be surprising if our joy started to wither away too. But there is hope. God made a promise: ‘I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.’ We’ll experience God’s blessings and goodness again. He can take the pieces of our lives and make something good from them. While He doesn’t promise that the locusts will never attack again, He does promise to repair and restore. So when we’re feeling the attack of the ‘locusts’, let’s not allow our hope to be withered but instead remember God’s amazing promise.

God sal dit opmaak teenoor jou


Joël 2:25 NLV

Kristine Steakly skryf: ‘Verlies kan maak dat ons heeltemal alleen en vernietig voel. Vir baie van ons het ons ouers se skeisaak beteken dat ons die huis waarin ons grootgeword het, ons buurt, ons vriende, ons skool en selfs ons kerk moes verlaat, omdat ons skaam was en die oordeel gehoor het van diegene wat eintlik oor ons geestelike welstand bekommerd moes wees. Om Joël se metafoor te gebruik, sprinkane het ons familie, vriendskappe en kerk opgeëet, maar God het egter belowe, ‘…My volk sal nooit weer so in die skande kom nie’ (vers 26 NLV). Ek kan nie vir jou sê hoe herstel gaan lyk of wanneer dit gaan gebeur nie. Sommige van ons sal sien hoe verhoudings tussen gesinslede weer regkom, ander van ons sal sien hoe wonderlike huwelike en liefdevolle families gebou word. Sommige van ons sal moet wag tot ons in die hemel kom, waar alle seerplekke gesond sal word en waar alle trane afgevee sal word.’ ‘n Bybelonderwyser sê: ‘Weerstaan die versoeking om moedeloos te raak. Jy mag dalk voel dat jy jare, geleenthede, finansies en ‘n deel van jouself gemors het. Hoor egter hierdie fantastiese belofte van bevryding: ‘…Ek sal herstel wat julle deur die stropersprinkane… verloor het…’ Niemand op aarde kan dit teenoor jou opmaak nie. Niemand kan daarvoor betaal nie. Niemand kan dinge regmaak en dit regverdig maak nie. Druk en manipulasie sal nie geregtigheid meebring nie. Laat dit dus gaan en laat God toe om jou lewe met nuwe seëninge te vul. As jy vol wrokke en haat is, sal Hy nie plek vir sy nuwe gawes kan kry nie. God sal dit teenoor jou opmaak as jy ‘n verwagtende houding van geloof het en Hom dank dat sy beloftes ook joune is.’