"The Best Construction"
July 29, 2009
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
"Christians in one Indian state are once again targets of radical Hindus." That was how an article carried online began.
The story from www.onenewsnow.com went on to tell how believers in Orissa, India, had been attacked by a mob of 40 to 50 weapon-carrying people. It seems the vigilantes were upset because Christians there wouldn't participate in a Hindu festival.
You might note this is the same charge, which was brought against early Christians who refused to make a sacrifice to the heathen gods of Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
According to the article, the mob broke into Christian homes and began to beat our brothers and sisters. Then the fanatics tried to find -- and promised to kill -- the local pastor.
It's the kind of story that is repeated so often I don't generally report it in the Daily Devotion.
But this story was different. It had an added element.
This story had an element of hope. The man who heads up the local missionaries said, "some of the people who do the persecuting are some of the first believers to be added to the Church . . . the response of these (persecuted) believers . . . stirs these people's hearts and . . . God uses that to draw them to Himself."
I was amazed to hear those words.
The man did something Luther said all of us should do: he resisted condemning all Hindus and he didn't bear false witness. On the contrary, he put the best construction on everything.
Knowing the same Savior who conquered sin, death, and devil could also conquer hateful, human hearts, he spoke no words of anger.
There is nothing in his statements that calls for revenge or withdrawing the missionaries to a place of safety. He doesn't demand the authorities get those Hindus.
From beginning to end, the man showed his complete and utter faith in the Lord. In doing so he shared something that we know, that we believe, but that we often forget.
Putting the best construction on everything, he told anyone who listened that Jesus' redeemed children are victors.
As Luther might have said, "This is most certainly true."
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, give me a faith that sees You are in control. Help me point people to the Savior rather than giving into my desire for revenge. Help me put the best construction on everything so the lost may see the living Savior. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries