THE INSIDE IS SEEN ON THE OUTSIDE
Time and time again, Scripture puts a heart-searching test to how we do things. There are so many examples I could draw from to give an example, but I will draw from two that make the point.
Jesus told His disciples that “when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account, rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12). Notice that the persecution is because we are standing in the place of Jesus in this world as His representative. When that is true and persecution comes against us in some form, we can “rejoice and be glad” because there is a great reward for correctly representing Him.
In situations like this, the persecutor may come against us for a short time and then leave. On the other hand, we may be in a difficult place that is long-term and there seems to be no end to the “unjust” treatment. One of these situations may come from the employers/masters we work for. In these circumstances Peter exhorts us as “servants, be subject…with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly” (1 Peter 2:18-19). In the same vane, Paul reminds us to “obey your earthly masters…with a sincere heart, as you would Christ…doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:5-6).
Often we fail to remember in the moment of trial who we are representing, because we are more focused on ourselves rather than what others will see of Christ through our behavior. We can only wear HIS character on the outside if it is firmly rooted on the inside.
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