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Jealousy's Offspring

But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said.  Acts 13:45 NLT

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Where the gospel is concerned, success always breeds opposition.

Resistance to truth is conceived in the human heart through jealousy, and slander births it. The human heart inclines itself towards pride, which makes us elevate ourselves by denigrating others. 

Paul and Barnabas preached with much success in Antioch. Almost the entire city turned out to hear them. But the Jewish leaders resisted Paul and Barnabas—not because of their message but because of their popular teaching.

The gospel has a polarizing effect. A person either accepts it or organizes himself against it. Christians should never be surprised by the reaction to their message. The question is how we respond to accusations. We should never fight pride with pride. Our weapons for warfare are mighty, but not carnal. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). If we allow the Enemy to entice us to fight the conflict on his level, the battle becomes about people and personalities. Even when we win, we lose.

Overcoming slander with more slander is like fighting fire with fire—it produces a larger blaze. Humility—which is strength under control—is better. Doing so brings credibility to our message.

Pastor Alistair Begg once said, “To return evil for good is devilish. To return good for good is human. To return good for evil is divine.” Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Winning a soul is more important than winning an argument.

Jealousy and strife’s offspring, slander, never bring people to Christ. Don’t fall into the trap of slandering those who accuse you. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/