March 19, 2024

“Back Up the Jeep” to Glorify Jesus

Written by Shana Schutte

Conflict is an opportunity to glorify the Lord.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 19, 2024

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

One summer, a man from my church, Adam, and his wife moved to a new community and wanted to do what they could to share Jesus’s love with their neighbors.

One sunny afternoon, Adam was driving through his neighborhood in his Jeep a little too fast. As he passed a home on the right, a man who was working in his yard yelled, “Slow down!” and gave Adam a special hand signal to let him know how he felt about his speed. Adam wasn’t far down the street when he stopped his Jeep and realized he had an opportunity to do what he and his wife wanted to do – glorify God. 

So, he backed up in front of the man’s yard, got out and walked up to him. “I’m so glad you’re outside. I’ve been wanting to meet you. I’m really sorry. I was driving too fast. Hi, my name’s Adam.” With that introduction, Adam extended his hand for a neighborly shake. The man just stood there, not saying anything. He just stared at Adam for 10 seconds or so. Then he said, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” Adam replied, “Yes, I am.” This interaction led to a longer conversation, and a relationship developed.

No one likes conflict, and we especially don’t like it when someone attacks us verbally or when they are rude. But have you considered it’s an opportunity for God to be glorified? 

How you respond can make more—or less—of Jesus. It can raise you up or raise Christ up. Adam could have, if he was operating in the flesh, allowed ungodly emotions to get the best of him. He could’ve backed up his Jeep, punched the man in the face, or given him a verbal beating. But he didn’t. He thought about Jesus first, and decided to share love with his neighbor, through kindness and humility, rather than take revenge. 

When the world throws hatred at you, it’s easy to throw hatred back. When others are rude, it’s easy to be rude back. Certainly, there are times when we need to be led by the Spirit and not allow evil to run amok. But there are other times when we need to “back up our Jeep” and share Jesus’ love. 

It’s easy to act in the flesh. The normal, worldly thing is to give a nasty response. The unworldly and heavenly thing is to respond with grace. This lifts Jesus high and the world notices because it’s not the status quo of how things are done on planet earth. “Backing up the Jeep” means we need to stop and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His grace and love. It means we take a moment, if needed, to calm our nerves, before approaching the other person. 

If we don’t care if Christ is glorified or not, if it doesn’t matter to us if we respond in the Spirit of Christ or not, if we’re okay living in the flesh and these are the patterns of our life, it’s time to do a reevaluation of our relationship with Christ. How is our relationship with Jesus? Have we fallen out of love with Him? Is there something in our relationship with Him that needs to be mended? Do we need to spend some quiet time with Him, sitting in His quieting and loving presence? When we love Christ, we will want to exemplify Christ to the world. We may not do it perfectly, but this will generally be the deepest desire of our hearts. 

This story about Adam is not an admonition to put up with any kind of abuse. It’s not a call to lay down and be a doormat for someone who is consistently hurting you or others. It’s not a stamp of approval for injustice or to never fight against it. What it is, however, is an invitation to ask Jesus what you should do the next time you have that unpleasant conversation, or what you should do when your neighbor yells unpleasantries at you. Take a minute and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then, glorify the Lord.

Amen and amen. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20).


Lord, I commit my day to you. Today, if I should experience anger, rudeness, or disrespect from someone, help me to turn to you today and ask you how I should respond. I want to be controlled by your Spirit and not by my flesh. Thank you, Jesus, for always being with me to help me. Amen.


This week, put this devotional into practice.

Related Reading

Romans 12:17-21; Proverbs 20:22; 1 Peter 3:9

Worship Resource

Jeremy Riddle: Glorify Thy Name


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