Deference, Part 2 (The Man in the Mirror, Episode 92)

I’m Daniel Whyte III and you’re listening to The Man in the Mirror, Episode 92

This podcast is directed to all young people, but primarily to young black men, young black women, and their parents. We are thankful for all the people who are standing up for justice and racial equality. But this podcast is about the man in the mirror. What are you doing for the glory of God, to make life better for others, for your family, and for yourself? This podcast is about living life in such a way that it cuts back on the chance of being harassed or killed by the authorities or anyone else and helps you to live the good life of peace and joy.

Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Jim Rohn said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we are looking at the quality of Deference, Part 2 from the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Deference to Believers
When new believers who had renounced temple worship saw mature believers buying meat offered to idols because of its bargain price, they became offended, and a major controversy erupted in the young church. In this delicate matter, Paul appealed for deference by those on both sides of the controversy. He appealed especially to those who thought it was right to eat the meat. Romans 14:13 says, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way”.

The great importance of deference can be seen in this narrative. Paul agrees with those who say that there is nothing inherently wrong with the meat. However, eating the meat becomes wrong if another believer is offended by it or if it is eaten in spite of an inward caution given by the Holy Spirit.

Deference to the Word
After Paul affirms the need to “give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God”, he states his own commitment to deference: I Corinthians 10:33 says, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved”.

In the previous chapter, Paul explains how he demonstrated deference. I Corinthians 9:19 says, “Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more”.

Personal Evaluation: How Well Do You Show Deference to Others?
Do you offend others by the things that you say, do, or wear?
Do you protect your children from evil?
Do you keep your home free from things that offend your children or cause them to struggle?
Do you justify music or activities that offend or weaken fellow Christians?
Do you offend people of other cultures or ethnic groups by the words you use to describe them?
Do you make allowances as much as you can to accommodate those from other backgrounds and philosophies?
Do you understand and follow protocol when visiting another country?
Do you pay questionable taxes in order not to bring offense to the Gospel?
God’s Mandate for Deference
Deference requires more than choosing to do things that are good. Deference requires that we choose things that are excellent, that we in no way hinder our own walk with Christ or the walks of others.

Philippians 1:9–10 says, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ”.

This character lesson is taken from The Power for True Success. For further study, this book may be purchased from our Online Store.

Now, in closing, in order to be saved — in order to get right with God — you cannot look at the man in the mirror, but the Man Christ Jesus. First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how.

John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that -whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can have a home in Heaven. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you.

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