And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” - Acts 9:4 ESV
We live in an ever-increasingly angry world. Our society is choosing sides and making posts and driving everything to its political value. Lines are drawn in the sand; then swords are drawn. How can we build relationships when everything is trying to pull us apart?
The first thing in dealing with people is to not treat them like puppies—or monsters! The internet is full of people saying, “Look at what that monster is doing now!” People are not monsters, nor should we treat them like monsters if we are commanded to reach them with the gospel.
A person that could have been labeled as such was Saul. He was persecuting the early church in various ways, from accusations to throwing the saints in prison. He looked like a monster. But he believed he was doing God’s work in protecting His people from this new cult. What did Jesus do? He asked him the moral question mentioned yesterday: “Why do you do what you do?”
Saul believed he was on the moral high ground. Jesus does not say, “You horrible monster! Stop what you are doing to My puppies!” He simply asks the same question in a different way: “Why are you persecuting Me?” Saul was transformed into Paul the apostle.
We will encounter people who are hostile towards Jesus, the church, and our thinking. The starting point is not to treat them like monsters and go to battle. Start with asking the moral question first. What is their moral motivation? Maybe it is to save the planet or to right an injustice. The moral conversation seems to bring things to the table where Jesus can speak into their heart—because that is where their heart is, and that is what Jesus is after.
Glen Arbor Community Church
West Chicago, Illinois
One-Year Bible Reading
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11