“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Stay Above the Fray
Wise people stay above the fray. For instance, when there’s a heated argument, wise people hold their tongues. Rather than engaging in a Facebook folly or a Twitter tirade, they step away from their laptop. What inspired counsel the apostle Paul once gave when he wrote, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). In other words, stay above the fray.
When we’re tempted to wallow in the mud, the apostle reminds us that God created us to be like him, in his image, in his likeness (Genesis 1:26). He created us to think higher thoughts, to act nobly, and to ennoble others through our thoughts, words, and actions.
But we fail. Too often we find ourselves in the middle of the melee. Sometimes we’re even guilty of lighting the fire ourselves and creating the fray.
Not Jesus. He always stayed above the fray. Yes, there were instances in his ministry when he spoke the truth candidly yet lovingly. But his reason for doing so always reflected the very highest principles. He was never nasty, never unkind. Even when people were nasty to him, he never responded unkindly. The Apostle Peter wrote this about Jesus: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats” (1 Peter 2:23). Through the prophet Isaiah, our Lord and Savior makes it clear to sinful people like us that “my ways [are] higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” He stays above the fray.
But then he invites us—yes, he calls us—to do the same. To be like him. “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).
Be wise like Jesus. Stay above the fray.
Dear Jesus, help me marvel at your higher thoughts and ways, and through your Spirit guide me in the paths of mercy, kindness, peace, and love. Amen.