My heart aches, no seriously, it actually hurts.
As Christians we are on the same team, we have the same goal, we have the same God, we just play in different positions. Our understanding of the game may differ from one another depending on where we play, but the essentials stay the same,
So why, WHY do we constantly fight each other with words? Why is it when someone believes something that is different from what we believe we go into attack mode? Why is it that we always have to prove that we are right…
I mean do you truly believe that if Jesus was around that he would be condoning and encouraging these social media wars, cause gosh, it’s not like anyone can have a face to face conversation these days. No, is the answer, I don’t believe he would. In fact I would dare to say that he would walk away from the pointless debates of opinions and continue his work where he is needed most, with those who don’t know him.
When I think of what it is to be a Christian I think of one word and two actions. Love.
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind – Matthew 22:37
2. Love your neighbor as yourself – Matthew 22:39
So how do we emulate love? Well the Bible is quite clear as to what love is…
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Well I’m sorry but I don’t think you can get any clearer than that. I would especially like to point out the very particular line, “It does not dishonor others”. The King James puts it “It does not behave rudely”, The Message says “Doesn’t Force itself on others”… shall I go on? When you get to a point where all you do is publicize your disagreements on your social media soapbox (whether you’re in the right or the wrong) you are just fueling the wrong fire. A fire that will burn down bridges and seeks destruction.
So what do you do if you don’t agree with someone? well, nothing. Unless it is a ESSENTIAL pillar that they are messing with (Jesus’ resurrection, Virgin Mary, Jesus son of God, etc.) you leave it alone. You can have conversations, this means two people each have a turn to talk and the one is respectful of what the other is saying, and you can learn from one another. But if it isn’t a Salvation issue, then it is not just cause to point it out in front of other people, especially in a demeaning manner.
“But Jen, the Bible tells us to hold each other accountable and insert name here is sinning”… you are right, there are many verses that point us in the direction of holding each other accountable. But those verses also speak of this in a church setting. So if you are in the same church and have a personal relationship with someone you now have a leg to stand on. But if you are on the other side of the country spewing your thoughts and insights into a lift which you know nothing about then you have just circled right on back to dishonoring someone and a misrepresentation of Christ, in my opinion. One of the other reasons why it is SO important that you have a personal relationship with someone before you go pointing out their sins is that you have no idea what else God is already working on in their lives. Yes you may hear someone swear, and you may want to call them out on it, but God may be working on them loving themselves first and their close friends keeping them accountable to that. I won’t exhaust the subject but you know what I’m getting at. And lastly, there is the plank. That’s right (many of you know exactly where I’m going with this),
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
No one on earth has been given the power to judge anyone when it comes to sin and spiritual matters. God alone, is the final judge. So if you are truly worried about the state of someones heart, pray to the one who knows exactly what is going on. Talk to Him! Maybe He’ll reveal some things in your life that need to be worked on. But hey, looking in a mirror is always harder than looking somewhere else.
So why does my heart ache? Because again, I am witnessing this destruction with my own eyes. I’m seeing the hurt it is causing the people involved, I can see the frustration fuming by those who are watching and the mocking of unbelievers as they watch a petty quarrel that isn’t even worthy of 5th graders. Why? All because of the sense of power, the sense of “I’m Right” that comes from a dispute in theological beliefs.
That is all…
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