Monday – October 8, 2018 – Pleasing Both God and People.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NCV) Don’t ever forget kindness and truth.
Wear them like a necklace.
Write them on your heart as if on a tablet.
Then you will be respected
and will please both God and people.
Who would you rather please, God or people? What if you could do both? You can, and you should. This might surprise you. It requires a good memory and a resolve to show kindness, while at the same time being truthful. Seems easy, but it may not be. What if it were to cost you dearly if you did?
Studies have shown that people are more likely to do evil if they are convinced they won’t be discovered or punished. Also, they are more likely to do evil if most people around them are doing the same. In 1994, a genocide of the Tutsis took place in Rwanda. 800,000 people were murdered. After the Holocaust against the Jews and other people groups in WWII, historians were hopeful something like that would never happen again. They were wrong because they underestimated the evil in people’s hearts and the short-term nature of their collective memories.
Mobbing is a modern term that came into being in the 1960’s. It referred to a larger more powerful group ganging up on those who are weaker with less ability to defend themselves. The word is rooted in an old German word that means “to put a hate on.” So, not doing evil may not be as easy as you would think.
How about being kind or doing good? Studies have shown that doing good is less likely to occur if there is a high cost involved. The Germans had a handle on what it means to mob. They were the ones responsible for the murder of over 6 million victims in the aforementioned holocaust.
In Holland, during WWII, this truth was borne out. Early in the conflict, many Christian Dutch people harbored families of Jews only to stop when they found out they could be arrested and suffer the same fate. When the cost got too high, the kindness stopped. Even though they knew the truth about what was happening to their friends they thought of themselves first and would not do the right thing. What price are you willing to pay to stop evil and to do the right thing? There is nothing more honorable than that.
Prayer: Jesus, these are some hard truths. You willingly paid the ultimate price to show kindness and to live the truth. Help me to be like you.