Have you ever noticed that as you read through the Bible, God seems to have two facets to His personality? Sometimes He even seems to contradict Himself. On the one hand He's really tough on sin. The Old Testament is full of examples that probably make most of us cringe! And on the other hand God is the most merciful, loving, gracious person I know! The same God who ordered the stoning of an entire family because the father kept some gold for himself from a war raid, that same God sent His only Son into the world as a sacrifice for our sin!
Jesus demonstrated this two-faceted personality when He was here walking the earth. He told Peter, his good friend and disciple to "Get behind me, Satan!" when Peter told Him that He would never suffer and die. He called the Pharisees a "Brood of vipers!" "Hypocrites" and "Whitewashed tombstones" and children of Satan. And remember the time He grabbed a whip and chased away all the merchants from the temple?
But on the other hand, He demonstrated great mercy and grace toward many others. What about the woman caught in adultery? She should have been stoned according to God's law. Yet Jesus didn't even rebuke her or chastise her. He simply told her to go and sin no more.
I believe God gives each of us a small portion of His personality to be used here on earth for His glory. Some of us have more of His lamb personality. People like this are more merciful, more understanding, and are quick to extend grace to others. They don't get so angry at injustice or sin, but instead offer a hand of friendship and love to those in need. This is wonderful quality to have!
Then to some of us God gives more of His Lion personality. The lions are the ones who get angry at sin and injustice, who discern right from wrong more clearly and who feel enraged when evil prevails. We are the ones who usually see sin for what it is in a person's life and we want to point it out to them. We want to fix it. We passionately defend God's righteousness .... even to the point of being rude to those who defile His name or plans. We are the John the Baptists, the Elijah's of the world. We call sin out for what it is and can often appear critical and lacking in mercy, though our motives are good.
The thing is, I'm a lion. And sometimes I can come across harshly to others. It's not my intention but I see something that I know is wrong in God's eyes and I blurt it out in a not-too-diplomatic fashion. Yet, I know people who are lambs who allow sin to flourish around them because they don't want to be critical or judgmental.
I believe both these sides of God's personality are very important. Both lion and lamb have a role to play in the body of Christ. Yet so often I see the church glorifying the lamb and tossing aside the lion as a trouble maker. The truth is, both lion and lamb need to pray for God to help them develop a bit of the other side in their personality. Too much of one or the other can be destructive. The Lion needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut and when he does speak, to use diplomacy. The lamb needs to learn when to show mercy and when to call evil evil.
All I can say is this lion here is working on her mouth and her mercy! How about you? Which do you think you are?