What does living in freedom look like? We are sons and daughters of our Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are princes and princesses, destined to be kings and queens ourselves. In fact, we are kings and queens now in our spheres of influence. Do we act like it? Do we speak like it? Do we know, as Christians, the ways of royalty?
We write a lot on this blog about identity and who we really are in Jesus. We write a lot about how to pull down the vicious lies that, even as Christians, keep us bound up away from the amazing, adventurous life God has for us. We write a lot about how to replace those lies with God’s truth. But what does walking in God’s truth, the freedom Jesus died and rose to give us, actually look like on a practical level?
The children of Prince William and Catherine (formerly Kate Middleton) are given a tutor to instruct them in the ways of royalty, protocol, and honor. Protocol is a way of formally dispensing honor, but that’s a subject for another post. (Frankly, our American culture is currently suffering from our own politicians, on both sides of the aisle, being unschooled in the ways of royalty, protocol, and honor. Amen! But I digress.)
Have you ever had someone teach you the ways of royalty? I am learning them. I learned some of them growing up from Christian parents. And I’m learning more as God brings healing to the wounded and unevangelized parts of my heart. I want to share with you 4 practical tips I’ve learned so far to live like the Kingdom Royalty we are.
1) Don’t Call Names
I recently saw a Christian friend on FaceBook that we’ll call “Patrick,” I believe correctly, rebuke a Christian leader for calling the socialist freshman congresswoman from NY, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a liar and other names. One of my other friends, a strong Christian, rebuked Patrick, sarcastically commenting, “…because Jesus never called anybody names.” He was using Jesus calling the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” to justify calling people names when we don’t agree with them. That is not the way of royalty!
Before Jesus blasted the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees in Matthew 23, he spent 3 years trying to foster relationship with them. He sent them healed leapers as a testimony to them (Luke 17:14). He paid the temple tax for himself and Peter to not offend them (Matthew 17:27). He healed a man with a crippled hand in the synagogue right in front of them (Mark 3:1–5), and was frustrated by their stubborn hearts. He reached out to them over and over again.
Ecclesiastes 3 says there’s a time and a purpose under heaven for every activity. There is a time to bless and a time to curse. There is a time to blast like Jesus did in Matthew 23, but only after every other attempt at reaching out and building relationship has failed. And even then, often the Holy Spirit’s strategy is to walk away, not casting our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).
I’m not saying we sugar-coat our disagreement with unrighteous policies or people. But we can’t win a Kingdom battle using the weapons of the devil. Usually, name calling is a hellish tool, not a heavenly one. Royalty gives the other person honor, not necessarily because they are honorable, but because we are. Royalty behaves and speaks in an honoring way whether the other person does or not.
2) See People Like God Sees Them
If a politician or someone on the other side of the aisle lies, they are not a liar. They are lying. There’s a difference. God did not create them as a liar and does not see them as one. He sees them as the potential he created them for. So should we.
By the same token, God does not tolerate unrighteousness. If someone’s lying, we should call out the statement for the lie it is. Abortion. Sex outside of marriage. Homosexuality. Transgender. Cheating on your taxes. These are all lies the culture accepts that we need to call out as unrighteousness and unacceptable, offering the forgiveness of a loving God. We need to teach them that true repentance means a change of lifestyle. Repentance is no longer doing the thing, not just being sorry about the consequences while continuing the lifestyle.
3) Respect Someone’s Right to be Wrong
You’ve heard the joke, “I respect your opinion. You have the right to be totally wrong!” But seriously. Being “right” does not give us the right to steamroll over someone else. It does not give us the right to post hateful memes about them on FaceBook.
I saw a meme, posted by a Christian and shared by a friend who I know is a strong Christian, about Ilhan Omar, the new Muslim congresswoman who’s been so anti-Semitic in the hateful things she’s been saying. When she was sworn into office, she used the Koran instead of the Bible. The caption of the meme was, “If you’re not willing to be sworn into office on the Bible, then get the h*** out of America!” Except the meme had the full profanity, not the asterisks I used. This is not the way of royalty!
When Jesus encountered pagans acting like pagans, he told them the truth in an honoring way. He found a way to compliment them (he complimented the woman at the well, see John 4:18). He honored them by eating at their houses (eating with tax collectors in Matthew 9:10 and Luke 19:5). He rescued them from the religious people who were all about name-calling and blasting them for their sin (see the woman caught in adultery in John 8, and Jesus at the Pharisee Simon’s house in Luke 7).
4) Remember They Are Human Beings Jesus Loves
They’ve just forgotten, or never knew, who they really are. It’s our job to remind them. How? By beating them over the head with the Bible? No! By sharing the same sacrificial love when they don’t deserve it that Jesus gave us when we didn’t deserve it. We still don’t deserve it, by the way. But Jesus can’t stop loving because that’s who he is. It should be who we are, too.
So how about you? Learn how to wounding and into royalty with a fun, engaging, short story. Download Dave’s FREE ebook “The Runt: A Fable of Giant Inner Healing.”Originally published at identityinwholeness.com on March 19, 2019.
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