Galatians 6:10, “10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Colossians 4:5-6, “5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, ” 11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
2 Timothy 2:25, “25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,”
Jude (1:)22, “22Be merciful to those who doubt;”
Over the last few days, I’ve looked at our as a church family, to our government authorities and now I’d like to talk about our responsibility to those outside the faith. Ultimately the Bible tells us that all that matters is that we love God and love people. Jesus once told us “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Keep these two things in mind. Some time ago, I wrote that Christians frustrated the charity efforts of Roman officials because they would give to all who had need and not only fellow Christians. It’s easy to take care of your own, but it’s difficult to help out an enemy. You can’t always know if your kindness will be repaid with kindness or harm.
When Onesimus fled his master, he was useless. When he returned as a Christian, he was useful. He became a brother in the faith a great help to Paul. In the same way, we were all once useless in doing anything good. Christianity put us on the track to being useful, but we still have to manage for ourselves what resources we have. Notice that Colossians and 1 Thessalonians do not say, “Look down on outsiders who are less than you are. Judge them for their faults and chastise them sharply lest they continue in their error.” We’re to be responsible for our lives, not intruding on others, but work in such a way that outsiders will be attracted to our faith. We’re to be wise but unafraid to answer any questions.
Finally, not only are we to be merciful, we must gently instruct those who oppose us.
Gentle as in free from harshness, sternness, or violence
Instruct as in to give knowledge
No insulting, condesending, shouting, etc.
once we gently instruct others, we’re free to pray for them but it’s their decision to act on what they’ve heard or to continue opposing us. The more Christians who take these verses to heart, the more difficult it will be for outsiders to find a reason to complain against us. Unless, of course, we are too helpful.