International Ministries

Unrest Among Tribes

June 11, 2010 Journal
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Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers.

Colossians 4:5

Those who don’t believe in Jesus note what we do.  They make decisions about Christ by watching us.  When we are kind, they assume Christ is kind.  When we are gracious, they assume Christ is gracious.  But if we are brash, what will people think about our King?  When we are dishonest, what assumption will an observer make about our Master? No wonder Paul says, “Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity.  When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should” (Colossians 4:5-6).  Courteous conduct honors Christ.

It also honors his children. When you surrender a parking place to someone, you honor Him.  When you return a borrowed book, you honor the lender. When you make an effort to greet everyone in the room, especially the ones others may have overlooked, you honor God’s children.                                                   From A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado

 

The line dividing Christian and non-Christian is often blurred during times of struggle.  We can point lots of fingers at Christian forefathers who fought against Christian forefathers, and often left out the Christian component of their character.  One such struggle is now taking place in North East India.

For over two months, the state of Manipur has been under siege.  Like medieval times when opposing forces camped outside of the castle and waited until the supplies inside ran out, the opposition forces have taken control of roadways and will not allow the basic needs of the people to be provided.  The struggle began in the political arena and has grown immeasurably. People are running out of fuel, not just for cars but for cooking.  Many cannot get to jobs because of the fuel shortage, but, then, many stores and office are not even open. Charcoal is being substituted for bottle gas for cooking.  Most importantly, the situation has lasted long enough that there is serious concern for not just this year’s crops, but also next years. Even more frightening is that the conflict is spilling over into other states, without an end on the horizon.

The most troubling concern for us should be that many of the people directly involved are considered Christian.  Christians make up over 90% of the population of one of the states involved, and about 30% of the other state. It makes for easy ammunition in a country where Christians are already the scapegoat for all unrest.

Somehow, we are missing the big picture here.  Or is it all the big picture.  Does what I say or do to my neighbor really impact the attitude of the world?  Even the neighbor I am having a boundary dispute with?  Or the one whose dog comes over to my yard?  Or the one who always seems to need something from the store when he knows I’m going? Or…………….

Now, you fill in the blank.  What is it that you do that does not reflect God’s love for you? Prayer will change the world, but we need Christ-like action to reflect God’s grace and forgiveness, especially to those who don’t know Him.