This past Sunday morning the news broke that Will Muschamp was out as the Florida Gators head football coach. I couldn’t help but think about a similar story that developed several years ago about the athletic director of a major university that fired their head football coach. When asked by a reporter if he was bitter, the coach replied, “Not at all, but I plan to buy a glass-bottomed car so I can watch the look on his face when I run over him.”
How do you handle seemingly unfair treatment?
To a degree, Jesus is responding in Matthew 7:12 with proper teaching on how we should respond to our critics and those who may try to cause us harm or damage our reputation.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” – Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
I kind of like how the Message Bible paraphrases this same verse: “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
The point is, Jesus really is concerned with how we treat other people. It’s not enough to just love Him and say that we love others. In fact, Jesus expects us to take the INITIATIVE by loving others with the same passion that we love Him! After all, “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40, NLT).
So, where do we start? We need to start by taking the lead and setting our personal feelings aside, walking in faith, trusting God to move in every situation and relationship.
INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR SOMETHING GOOD TO HAPPEN, TAKE INITIATIVE BY DOING SOMETHING GOOD!
When God’s love fills your heart you begin to change on the inside and something supernatural takes place… you begin to see people, even those who offend you, through Jesus-filtered lenses. You actually begin to see broken people, who likewise need healing, restoration and victory in their lives, with tremendous compassion and mercy. Now, when you begin to be moved with compassion, even for those who mistreat you, you really know that the Holy Spirit is doing a deeper work in your life and that you’re becoming more and more like Jesus!
Check out the Jesus model for life and ministry in Acts 10:38 (NLT):
You know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Jesus had a reputation for being good and doing good. Can the same be said for you and me? If you want to grow in your relationship with Jesus, perhaps the next step in your faith journey is simply to TAKE INITIATIVE and do something good for someone, unprovoked and unannounced, and see what God will do.
Are you ready to take that next step? I know I am… let’s do this together!