I have what I affectionately refer to as a large “justice chip.”
My justice chip is sensitive to wrong-doing and can flare up at a moment’s notice. While there are times when this chip has been warranted and even beneficial, most of the time it is nothing more than judgment and jealousy in disguise. A moment of selfishness where I lose sight of empathy and compassion and instead focus on the ways I am right or have been wronged. A bitter seed that flourishes with every minor injustice. Ultimately, this self-righteous justice chip keeps me from fully loving others.
According to Peter, I must love before I can fully obey. The words, “Now that,” are present focused and allude to an action which occurs after something else. Peter is speaking to believers, and there is an assumption that they are already living out God’s word—a supposition that they are obeying God’s commands and are free to have true love for others.
Love cannot come before obedience. Like those early believers, I need to obey God’s truth first. Obedience will help purify my soul and shed sinful habits. Then I can love in the way God intended.
When I feel tempted to polish off and righteously don my justice chip, I say a prayer to help me submit every thought to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). My thoughts can take me into valleys and negative places where the enemy is waiting to pounce. Eventually, my thoughts will become actions if I don’t lean on God to tame them. And actions fueled by jealousy, judgment, or blame are never beneficial.
I also need to make sure I do nothing from selfish ambition, while considering others better than myself (Philippians 2:3). When I do this, my natural instincts to feed my justice chip with jealousy and judgment slowly slip away.
Accept the Spirit’s power to fill you with empathy, compassion, and love.
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