There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas. {The Desire of Ages 487.3}

Mark 9:38 – Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

Let’s start out with what we know for certain: there are people in the world that we disagree with and that disagree with us.  Another fact: we like our ideas because we came up with them and they made sense to us.  So what happens when worlds collide?  What happens when you or I are in a meeting at work and someone doesn’t like our idea for the three reasons they just shared?  What if you’re stuck doing a stupid group project at school and all the other ideas for the project are really dumb?

Do we go behind an individual’s back and undermine them in conversations?  Do we become cross and hold our anger in quietly as, “they’re trying to shut down all my ideas again”?  Do we give up participating as soon as one of our ideas is dismissed and not work with the group toward a consensus?  Do we take the high road and disassociate ourselves from our ideas, because our ideas are not us?

(I must admit, the rhetorical question count is getting pretty high).

God never forced anyone to believe or do anything they didn’t want to.  The reason bad things happen in the world is because God doesn’t restrict people to make right choices; if He did that, ultimately we would not be free-thinking human beings, we would be living robots.  Only doing what we were programmed to do.  God doesn’t want robots, because robots can’t love.

Like Satan?  Satan has always been out to attack those who disagreed with him.  He attacked them in Heaven, he attacked them in the person of the Israelites, he attacked the early Christians in Roman arenas, he attacked believers in the middle ages when disagreeing with the state church and thinking for yourself was “heresy”.  He attacks them in countries today where it is illegal to convert people to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus says:

John 13:35 – By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I don’t think He was referring to easy times when it is simple to love those who love you back.  I believe He was talking about through the grit and grind of normal human relationships.  Wow, that is such a high standard.  This isn’t how we normally are as human beings.  We can begin to see what an amazing thing it is for God to create a new heart within us.

Don’t be like Satan.  Be like Jesus.