Christians are always loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled.It sounds crazy, right? If you've met many Christians you might think this is demonstrably false. It's not.
So, if you are dealing with someone, and you know that person is a Christian, but that person is acting malicious instead of loving, angry instead of joyful, frantic instead of peaceful, demanding instead of patient, spiteful instead of kind, bad instead of good, rough instead of gentle, flighty instead of faithful, OR excessive instead of self-controlled, YOU ARE NOT DEALING WITH THAT PERSON. THAT IS NOT WHO THAT PERSON IS. THAT IS NOT HOW GOD PERCEIVES THAT PERSON.
Also, if you are a Christian, and you suddenly find yourself acting that way, IT IS NOT YOU. THAT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE. THAT IS NOT HOW GOD PERCEIVES YOU.
And God's perception is the TRUTH. Ours is not.From my own point of view, I can perceive that this guy from Church, whose faith I know, just posted a kind-of-racist meme. I know that's not him. He wouldn't do that. It is something else. He is loving. He is kind. My perception is wrong. It is not him. It is something else.
From my own point of view, this woman may have just been disrespectful and cussed me out. But I know her. She's a Christian. So, she is joyful, not angry. She's kind, not spiteful. She's self-controlled, not lashing out. My perception is wrong. That is not her. That is something else.
I can perceive that I have been failing in my struggle and overwhelmed by that failure. But I know that I am filled with the Spirit. So, that's not me. That is something else.
I think this is what Paul was saying in Romans where he wrote "it is not I who sin, but sin living in me" (7:several verses). It is also what is meant by our battle not being against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). Our war isn't against this other person or even against ourselves.
It is something else.Now when I say that it is something else I don't necessarily mean it is a demon. I firmly believe demons work on and in Christians and that whenever we see someone who is not acting like God perceives them, it might be worth taking your authority in Christ rebuking whatever might be there because it might be a demon. I wouldn't do so loudly or in the person's face unless you've received a pretty clear word from the Lord that you're dealing with a demon and that this is the time and way where it is strategically appropriate to fight it.
It might not be a demon though. It might just be the person's ignorance, which can be educated. It might be the person's pain, which can be healed. It might be the person's fear, which can be cast out.