I’ve learned that not everyone agrees with me. I still remember when I first figured this out – I was stunned. After all, I’m right 99.9% of the time! In my mind, I’m a good guy and I’m smart. I don’t make a lot of mistakes. What I believe is true. Then I learned that not everyone believes the things I believe in. If their foundational beliefs are different then they are not going to agree with me on a lot of topics or concepts. I have found that there are a good number of people that I don’t agree with lots of time. I’ve learned however to respect other peoples opinions and ideas. Even when they are wrong, they are entitled to their own opinion. (I am using some sarcasm here.) Jeremiah is the recipient of respect from someone who is the enemy of his country, in fact the commander of the forces that had just invaded. Check this out….The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan, commander of the guards, had set Jeremiah free at the city of Ramah. He had found Jeremiah in Ramah bound in chains with all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being taken away to Babylon. 2 When commander Nebuzaradan found Jeremiah, Nebuzaradan said to him, “The Lord your God announced this disaster would come to this place. 3 And now the Lord has done everything he said he would do. This disaster happened because the people of Judah sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. If you want to, come with me to Babylon, and I will take good care of you. But if you don’t want to come, then don’t. Look, the whole country is open to you. Go wherever you wish.” Then Nebuzaradan gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him there. He lived among the people who were left behind in Judah. (Jeremiah 40:1-4, 5b-6 NCV)
I believe that the most important thing I can do with my life is to honor God. I should honor Him with my decisions, my lifestyle, my words….my whole life should honor Him. The rest of the “chips” can fall where they fall. I believe that a life surrendered to the Lord will receive the reward that really matters – eternal life! Money, power, success, and fame are all temporary and much like vapor that’s here for a bit, then gone.
I’d rather be a friend of God no matter what others think of me. I will respect their right to not believe. More often than not, those who don’t believe will show a measure of respect for me because of my belief. I believe that the Lord orchestrated Jeremiahs treatment after the fall of Jerusalem. He was honored and respected by the enemy because He followed the Lord fully. Whether or not the commander believed in God – God still used him to bless Jeremiah. The Lord just does things like that…after all, HE CAN DO ANYTHING!!Pressing On! Dwayne