"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
The Poser Test – Part 3
March 1, 2010Posted by on
He has told you men what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: Only to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, HCSB)
Last time we spoke about the first part of the LORD’s demands in this verse – Do What’s Right. Now we trun our attention to the second demand: Show authentic love – Be faithful, kind and merciful
One of the reasons people don’t like posers is because of how they treat other people. If someone fails they brutally and relentlessly make fun of them in order to deflect negative attention away from themselves (to mask their own deficiencies). They are consistently mean, selfish, demeaning and rude. When they are nice to people it is only for what they could get out of them – accolades, a following, etc.
Micah 6:8 tells us that God requires us “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” The Hebrew word that is translated here as “love faithfulness” is actually a very complex word with several layers of meaning, all of which capture how an authentic Christian will be with other people, and it is in stark contrast with the attitudes of posers. It has been translated as:
- Love Faithfulness (HCSB)
- Love Mercy (NIV and others)
- Love being kind to others (NCV)
- Love kindness (NASB)
- Be compassionate and loyal in your love (Message)
You should be able to see that this word carries with it the connotation of faithful love, kindness and mercy – Do you see how this is so different from the attitude of a poser?
We’ve already seen examples during the Olympics of how an authentic champion is kind and merciful when someone fails, because they are not insecure (like a poser) – they will encourage others when they fail, because they remember their own failures and progress. They will look out for the best interest of the team (if it’s a team sport) or will be mindful of what is best for their sport.
Jesus summarizes this attitude in Matthew 22:39, when He said that equally important to loving God is to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Of course, we want people to be kind, loving and merciful to us, especially when we fail. We want people to love and support us, to treat us fairly (or better) and to be faithful to us.
Do you treat people with a faithful and kind love that is full of mercy? Do you do this out of true love for them or only because you want what they can provide you? How would other people characterize your relationships with others – How would God?
Authentic Christians not only consistently do what’s right, and love and treat others right – they also rely on and obey God, which is our third part of the poser test.