Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Devotional: Open Season on the Messenger

Luke 3:19 But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done, 20 Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison.

We have all seen it.  Some of us have experienced it.  You see where someone is in doctrinal error and you try to point it out to them and the next thing you know you are attacked for it.  

This is exactly what happened to John the Baptist.  Apparently, Herod was having an illicit affair with his brother's wife, Herodias along with all the other wicked things he was doing.  John reproved him for his wickedness and Herod locked him up in prison for it.

Herod did not want his sin exposed.  He knew he was wicked, but he didn't want anyone telling him about it because he wanted to do what he wanted to do regardless of how wrong or wicked it was.  So the easiest thing for him to do was to attack the messenger to shut him up.

How often have you had the experience of speaking truth to someone about some issue about the claims of Christ, or in correction of some doctrinal error only to have the tables turned on you in a vicious personal attack?  Instead of attacking the message, they attack you, the messenger. Why?  Because they want to shut you up.  They don't want to hear what you have to say or have to consider it because they have a set of beliefs they have subscribed to, or as the case may be, have invented for themselves that they don't want to be exposed as false by the light of the truth.

The Apostle Paul talks about this problem in Galatians 4:16.
So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
It is so easy to get hot under the collar when we are attacked like this. I know I have gotten steamed at times. People are much quicker to attack us on social media than in person and the converse is also true...it is much too easy to respond in kind when we are not standing in front of the person and know we may never be face to face with them. So what are we to do?

1. Don't be afraid to speak the truth, but do it with respect and kindness.
2. Answer questions and responses to what you say slowly, respectfully and with kindness.
3. Back off if the other person is showing an unwillingness to listen and only wants to argue or attack you.  Give God time and space to work in their hearts with the seed you have planted.  He may give you an opportunity to plant more seeds later.
4. Pray, pray and pray some more.

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