Friday, June 3rd, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 25)
Don't Strike Innocents
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
Surely, most readers of this devotion have not committed assault or murder, especially of someone innocent.* Perhaps you're known as a tough guy or girl, and maybe your hand caused someone to bleed. Probably, the other guy deserved it...
But when God spoke, the Son of Man listened: ' 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord' (Romans 12:19); Therefore, 'He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His Mouth; He was led as a Lamb to the slaughter' (Isaiah 53:7).
Yet before His death, our King redefined one of His Father's toughest Commandments: 'You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also' (Matthew 5:38-39).
Ouch! I'm quick to return a verbal slap. But would a verbal slap be included in His call for no retaliation? Can assaulting words shed innocent blood? When Jesus compared hatred to murder and a lusty look to adultery, I feel compelled to admit, yes, they can.**
Since I'm no judge of guilt or innocence, since hard-hitting words can cut like a knife, I've sinned in the third abomination.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Playing a judge on set is one thing, but judging off-set is a bad thing. It's not in your saint's job description. Since you can't see a heart's intention, nor its surrounding circumstances, you're not equipped for it, anyway.
Besides, you're called to be examples to a hating, fighting, blood-spilled world. So by the better Blood of Jesus, let's both try to turn the other cheek.
To Be Continued...
* How amazing to know that Jesus forgave everyone who assisted in His humiliation, beating and murder! How amazing to read that Paul, arguably the world's greatest disciple (who engineered the murder of innocent believers), was not only forgiven, but also given an incredible ministry. Therefore, if you have shed innocent blood in what men might call a terrible crime, Jesus has you covered. When you surrendered your life to Him, your slate was wiped clean. He considers you innocent.
** 'You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment... You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart' (Matthew 5:21-22,27-28).
** Matthew 5:21-30: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A21-30&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.