Do not take the title of this blog post out of balance. I understand that it is necessary to stand against evil. I just want to make sure that I am not always standing against something but standing for something as well. Often, Christianity is frowned upon because Christians often talk about what is wrong and name only the list of acts that are sins.
Of course, the issue of sin is to be taken seriously and dealt with rather than swept under the rug; however, it is important to be reminded that none of us can overcome the power of sin in our own strength. If we could do that, then, Christ would not have had to come and suffer and die for us.
You Will Know Them By Their Fruit
In Matthew 7:16, Jesus stated that both false prophets would be recognized by their fruits. Those who are genuine will be recognized the same way, so, it is important to know what types of fruit we should be looking for. Galatians 5:22-23 explains what the fruit of the Spirit is. In other words, if a person has the Holy Spirit dwelling in her, there are certain characteristics that will eventually manifest. These are love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.
Instead of always speaking out against hate, I should speak out for love. When depression comes, I should speak up for joy. I should seek out peace when strife comes instead of simply speaking against strife. Does this make sense?
Although God deals with sin, it is important to remember that He also deals with us according to our righteousness. In ourselves, there is no righteousness, but when we accept Christ, He is our righteousness. Salvation is instant, but sanctification is a process. When Christ is in me, He will begin to help me cultivate the fruit that is the evidence of the Holy Spirit being in me.
Are You Only ‘Against’ or Are You ‘For’?
With all that was just stated, I come back to my first statement: Is it what you are for or what you are against? Do you stand for righteousness, or do you simply stand against what you deem to be sinful? It is important to give thought to this because if you only stand against what is sin without pointing people to the hope that is in Christ, then, you are in danger of developing self-righteousness. That type of righteousness is no righteousness at all.
When we speak out against the things that break God’s heart, it is also in the heart of God to point people to the solution. The solution is always Jesus. If we only point out sin, but fail to point out the way to righteousness, then our ministries have failed.
There are times when it is important to show righteous indignation, but there are also times when nothing but love will help. Displaying the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is what will make a difference. People will take notice of that fruit which will bring glory to Jesus. They will notice because it is something different from what they have seen before.
How about you? Are you only talking about what you are against, or, are you letting others know what you stand for?