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The devil smiled

A few years ago I watched, via the internet, a city council meeting discussion concerning the mandate of wearing face masks. The local hospital administrator was invited to speak on the subject. Some in attendance cheered and applauded his presentation while others booed and jeered. But the devil smiled. 


Local business owners were divided on the issue. Some claimed mandated mask wearing would hurt their business while others stated it would be beneficial. Some citizens in attendance shouted their approval while others angrily voiced their disapproval. But the devil smiled.


Quotes from experts citing both benefits and harms of wearing a mask were read aloud by some attending the meeting. At times a portion of people applauded. Others laughed while some moaned. But the devil smiled. 


Conspiracy theories concerning the One World Order, vaccines and the anti-Christ were included by a few persons in this discussion. Some people clapped while others snickered. But the devil smiled.


The environment of this meeting was at times hostile. Some in attendance were unable/unwilling to make their position known without anger and venom leveled toward their fellow citizens. Sides were drawn. Friends, family, neighbors and associates of our community were divided. Even church brethren came to be at odds. And the devil smiled.


The devil loves chaos. “Devil” from the Greek word diabolos, can be translated “to divide,” “to separate,” or more literally, “to throw against.” Satan wants mankind to destroy himself. The fastest way to that end is to cause disagreement that leads to division. He was cast out of heaven for first causing division among the angels. Ever since his fall from heaven, Satan has sought to divide the world. He began by driving a wedge between the first humans and God in the Garden of Eden.


Does that mean Christians should never hold an opposing viewpoint? Obviously not since God commands us to “contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3). But even while “contending” God expects our behavior to promote godliness (Matt. 5:14-16).


Some may at this point, argue, “But we have the freedom of speech! I can say what I want and how I want!” That may be true concerning the laws of our country. But do not try to Americanize Christianity. A Christian is only free to say those things that are good for necessary edification and will impart grace to the hearers (Eph. 4:26-27; 29). A Christian’s speech and behavior are regulated by God’s laws.


The purpose of this writing is not to argue for or against any issue. The purpose is to challenge everyone to defend their position in ways that do not bring reproach upon our God. Defend your position in a way that shows respect towards those who may disagree with your conclusion. The “Golden Rule” is not merely a suggestion (Lk. 6:31). Defend your position in a way that promotes unity (Psalm 133:1). Keep in mind; Satan loves division and a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Matt. 3:24).


Think back upon your behavior concerning things that have involved disagreement with others. Now take a look at the spiritual image in your mirror. Whose reflection is smiling back at you; Jesus, or, the devil?

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Great article Tim!

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