As followers of Jesus, we are in a constant battle with our human nature. This battle takes on many forms, but one constant problem we must face is our personal interaction with the human nature of others – both believers and unbelievers alike. Humans seem to more easily believe bad things about others than good things. And when these bad things are revealed, humans have a tendency to share those stories with others far too quickly. “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.” (2 Timothy 2:23) The scripture teaches us to be more cautious. As believers, we should be reluctant to believe everything we hear, and even reject unsubstantiated feelings. We should seek guidance from the Holy Spirit before responding to any uncorroborated gossip.
The teachings of Jesus make it clear that we are all weak vessels. We are all prone to misdeeds and subject to stumbling in the wrong direction from time to time. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) For this reason we should not be so quick to expose the alleged misdeeds of others or even believe negative things without knowing all the facts. Our mission as followers of Jesus is to help our neighbor, not challenge their integrity or litigate every negative action alleged by others.
We demonstrate the wisdom of God when we are slow to judge and quick to reach out with a considerate call for clarity. The wisdom of God does not act impulsively and keeps an open mind. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) When we follow our heart, guided by the Holy Spirit, we are pointed in the right direction. When we seek the counsel of someone more experienced, with a deeper knowledge of the situation, we are moving in the right direction. These kinds of prudent actions are pleasing to God.
Our human nature can be controlled by the wisdom provided by God. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.” (James 3:17) Chasing our human nature as it randomly encounters the human nature of others, is a recipe for discord and confusion. We combat that lack of control when we humble ourselves before God and seek His guidance in prayer. Our obedience to God is the catalyst that will bring light to every situation and the fuel that will energize our wisdom and ultimately bring peace.
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