Responding to Critical or Unkind Behavior
Posted on January 6, 2016 by Graeme Wilson in Victory Call
Recently, I watched a video online about how truly small we are compared to the universe. It stated facts like:
1. The sun is about 864,400 miles in diameter, meaning you could fit 1,300,000 planets the size of Earth in the sun
2. There are stars that are about 2.9 billion times larger in volume than our sun
3. Our Milky Way galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years in diameter
*Note: The NASA website states: “to obtain an idea of the size of a light-year, take the circumference of the earth, lay it out in a straight line, multiply the length of the line by 7.5, then place 31.6 million similar lines end to end. The resulting distance is almost 6 trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles.” So, imagine 100,000 of those.
4. There are other galaxies in our universe that are at least 6,000,000 light years in diameter, there are THOUSANDS of galaxies in our universe, each universe contains billions of stars, and each star is orbited by its own planets
That’s a lot of crazy information, and when I saw that video I thought it was such a “faith-strengthener.”
But what does that have to do with responding to criticism, unkindness, or confrontation?
Well, in comments in any video online you will see anger. Somebody commented, “How can people see this and still believe in God?! Yeah, right!” and then I saw my brothers and sisters in Christ getting angry at this man, and then those of this world attacking the Christians. There were horrible things being said about followers of Christ, and I hate to say it – but horrible things being said to those “of this world” in retaliation.
I have to wonder how the one who created those billions of stars in each galaxy and knows them by name would respond to this.
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4: 5-6
“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15
The Lord calls us to have wisdom when we find ourselves being questioned by unbelievers, so we always know how to respond. He also calls us to be loving, gracious, sympathetic, and humble… He calls us to be like Jesus who, when faced with confrontation, showed the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He showed wisdom and love – because God’s character is love.
According to the video, we are pretty small in the grand scheme of things… but we have a huge job. We are called to share the Word of God with unbelievers, so that we may experience the true joy that comes from Jesus alone and so that we can spend Eternity with Him. We are seemingly so unimportant when looking at the stars and the planets and the galaxies, but the One who created those galaxies finds us of greater importance than any of His creations in any of those galaxies… so important that He died for us.
So, I hope this devotional – albeit a bit long – is of encouragement to you!! God is good.
Erin Culleny is a new member of America’s Keswick’s full-time staff. Erin serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.