But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 1 Peter 2:20 (NIV)
The exercise of freedom calls for great wisdom. If we want to see highly resistant people come to glorify God, the first step must be to act redemptively. Ask yourself, “What course of action is going to be redemptive here?”
It may be that God has placed you close to somebody who is engaged in a pattern of self-destructive behavior, and love means painful confrontation.
But there are other situations in which your actions will be guided by a decision to absorb pain, and in absorbing pain, to quietly and in private exercise forgiveness, because love covers a multitude of sins.
God has given you the freedom to make a choice that reflects the character of Jesus. Everything about Jesus’ response to suffering was geared toward the objective of us dying to sin and living to righteousness, returning to the shepherd and overseer of our souls. His choices were guided and directed by the mission of acting redemptively.
In each circumstance, ask, “What can I do that is most likely to bring light into darkness, warmth into the coldness, and grace into broken lives?” The impact of your life will depend in large measure on the way you use your freedom.
The Bible does not offer guaranteed outcomes for our choices, but if we are serious about seeing deep change in hard situations, this is the path. What can we do that, as best we can judge it, will open the door for God’s redeeming, life-changing love to touch this hard and difficult circumstance?
If we are serious about seeing deeply resistant people coming to glorify God, then let us use our freedom to make some different choices.
What redemptive course of action can you take in a difficult circumstance right now?