Following Christ , Not Culture
“ If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman.
You must influence them; do not let them influence you!” ( Jeremiah 15:19)
While in St. Louis, JT brought up the subject about the slaves who were free before they we’re free in body because they had the gospel. He remarked that we have lost that freedom our ancestors had.
As I got to know JT on a deeper level I discovered this thing called Civil Righteousness. Civil Righteousness as I understand it is doing the right thing, even when people around us are doing wrong, It’s about keeping the way of Christ even when those in power aren’t doing so. It’s about doing right personally even when culture won’t .
I had a very personal experience with this when I began dating and had the experience of not finding a good match. My experience was that many women , even in church, we’re difficult and deceitful. I was looking for marriage, they we’re looking just to have fun. Instead of doing the right thing, I got discouraged, and thought to myself… all these women are the same. I mind as well have fun, fornicate, as Chris Brown said, “These girls ain’t Loyal ”. They all want to play around, and cause drama. So why marry? Why do it God’s way?
But that wasn’t righteous thinking. Just because a woman isn’t loyal, doesn’t mean we stop being royal. We set the standard, and keep it ; even if culture doesn’t. That’s civil righteousness or as JT puts it “ Moral and spiritual excellence even in the face of injustice”.
I’m reminded of Joseph who was sold into slavery, and falsely accused of attempted rape by his master’s wife who wanted to sleep with him (Genesis 39:7). He refused her several times and on different occasions, day after day! (Genesis 39:10). Finally he suffered going to prison unjustly , but even then God saw Joseph, and was “ with him,” (Genesis 29:21) even in prison God was with Joseph, and showed him favor . The prison warden put Joseph in charge of everything , and didn’t concern himself with anything under Joseph’s care.
At the heart of civil righteousness there has to be an understanding that GOD IS WITH YOU, even in the face of injustice. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” ( ) and it’s amazing that this is the state motto of Ohio. So no matter what people do, and no matter how deep we are in prison… we must remember one truth that frees our soul – the truth is JESUS CHRIST, Emmanuel, GOD WITH US.
We all go through battles, we all suffer unfair things, we all have struggles, but in our struggle we must never forget that God is watching, and that our story isn’t over. We go through valleys of betrayal, depression , but in all that we must remember that we can thrive even in a desert, and even in prison we can be successful.
There are injustices, some say it’s systematic racism, and yes things like this do exist. But greater is he, that is within me, than he that is in the world. I’m not a victim, but a victor because of Christ. What man means for evil, God has flips on its head to work for my good. Without Jesus, none of this is possible, without Jesus there is no hope for a better place.
In the story of Joseph, his dream , the dream God gave him. The dream that actually got his brothers jealous enough to sell him into slavery came true ( ). His brothers bowed down before him, not knowing that he was the king of Egypt. Joseph’s life took a dramatic turn by using the gift and the dream God gave him. He went from prison to second in power in order to save lives, just as Jesus went from the grave to the right hand of God to save lives. In both stories people did the wrong thing, but both men overcame evil through the power of God.
All the suffering Joseph went through was forgotten, because God was with him. The same is true for us. We may be mistreated, we may be unfairly dealt with but we can’t forget that Jesus was mistreated, we can’t forget that God brought about justice. If we lose this truth, we lose our souls.
Invoke the Mighty Warrior!
Inspired by bibleinoneyear.org Day 288, “ Do the Right thing”, October 15th