Opposition as Opportunity

by Mary Beth on September 19, 2013


 “Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time. 
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  Colossians 4: 5, 6



Often I’ll reminiscence back on one of our family transitions,

in a new neighborhood cul-de-sac.  

The neighbors were welcoming, kind and yet noticeably divided in their allegiances among the circle of homes. 

Within weeks, the family on our left openly communicated their unwavering conviction for Christianity,

to opposing neighbors.  

The bold and stony approach spoke of their passionate commitment,

however the undeniable need in our cul-de-sac of individuals was a clear compassion of Christ, wisdom, and unity. 


Although it was evident relational conflict lingered and opposition had laced through the years,

our hope to be intentional with the time and relationships surrounding us. 

Often after a run or during seasonal gardening,

our paths would cross with neighbors to discuss holidays, family commitments,

a new recipe or help with a repair issue.


Our friendship increased with several neighbors, and the opportunities opened to enjoy dinner or dessert together to discuss their genuine questions, fears and misunderstandings towards the heart and character of God.


Where do you see evidences of God’s grace in your neighborhood? 

In your family?  With friends?


On one occasion,

we were invited to join another couple on their backporch over the weekend.

Our conversation circled around to the reflection of Lent,

the cross and resurrection of Christ.  In a direct tone our neighbor stated,

“Well, I would of died on the cross if I had been asked,

knowing the great need of mankind.”

After moments of silence and a quick prayer,

my initial jolt reaction turned from surprise to the Spirit’s comfort and counsel.

“Jesus Christ was the perfect and spotless sacrifice for our sins and for all mankind. 

Yet in a sense, our responsibility and response as followeers of Christ and as ministers of reconciliation is a call to take up our cross and follow Christ.  

Everyday holds a choice to deny self,

and take up our cross and to walk in obedience to Christ.”


To die to pride, selfish gain and living life according to the flesh,

involves our attention and decision towards the call:

“whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” 
~Mark 8:34,35. 


This leads to a lifestyle that is described as walking according to the spirit.


The four of us continued to meet together in our homes,

through sweet seasons and years, in the cul-de-sac life. 

Together we had the joy of walking out our faith through experiences of celebration,

loss, struggles and our transfer out of state.


As ambassadors for Christ,

we’re called into the ministry and message of reconciliation,

2 Timothy 2:23-26 provides wisdom when facing opposition:


“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone,
able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. 
God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil,
after being captured by him to do his will.”


Although we’re sojourners in this world,

we’ll experience opposition in a range of colorful emotions,

intellectual jeering or questionable accusations. 

Scripture affirms that we will also experience the enemy’s ambition to pester,

taunt, mock and insult us as he did towards Christ.


“But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
~James 3:17



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