PEOPLE OF GOD NEED TO STOP DEGRADING ONE ANOTHER. . . part 1
We see it all the time. Parents putting each other down or trying to get back at each other because of what they consider irreconcilable differences. The children become the pawns that the husband uses against the wife and vice versa. Little does either parent stop and think how this is affecting the child. How trust has eroded because what was supposed to be sacred and stable has become a nuisance, unstable. Understanding vaporizes, because the two people who once loved each other are now asking the child to take sides. Self-confidence is eaten away as parents argue and the child detects that this whole mess is all their fault. And most detrimental, faith in God is shaken, which leaves the child angry, asking why did “God let this happen.”
And we wonder why some children grow into adults who can’t form lasting relationships, question God’s existence and have issues with authority figures.
Let’s relate this to the Church of the Living God, God’s people, the Bride of Christ, or whatever you want to call it. Sometimes we can be some of the meanest, most competitive beings on the planet. We see or hear that a brother or a sister has fallen, and what do we do? Stomp them while they’re down. No, not with our shoes – with our mouths. More times than not, we will kill them with slander, defamation of character, gossip and other very human attributes, as opposed to showing the love and character of God, which was demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ. We see a brother or sister moving forward in the work of God. Again, what do we do? Many times, we become envious, jealous, or accusatory. We even hope for their failure. We see men of God disrespectful of other men of God because they seem to think the other preacher’s members will be better off in his congregation.
All the while the slamming among God’s people is going on, how is this affecting the sheep? How is this affecting the baby Christian who is barely beginning his walk in Christ? He’s reading the scripture that promises that God’s people love one another, and he’s seeing the exact opposite behavior. He’s reading about how Christ’s words were uplifting, and then he hears the words that are coming out of our mouths. He sees the scripture saying there would be righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, and all he sees are church folk who lie on each other, gossip and backbite.
Truth be told, we are all guilty. Through misguided interpretation, we insert ourselves into the situation of someone else’s failure as a spokesman for God, his personal accountant so to speak. The problem is, we prefer to avoid and keep silent about our own failures. Someone accuses a brother of flirting or worse – how about the fact the accuser is cohabitating. Someone got word that a sister is still having a problem quitting smoking or drinking, and they want to tell everybody. Yet nobody knows the accuser is extorting money from the company or lying about sources of income. And please don’t imagine that one “sin” or failure is worse than others. Liars and cheats, along with fornicators and murderers and everything in between, will have their part in the lake if they don’t repent (Revelation 21:8).
If we’re not careful, we become so adept at condemning and accusing others, we forget to repent of the mess that is in our own lives. Somebody needs to slam on some Holy Ghost breaks!
Speaking of accusation: Did you know that accusation originated with the devil? (Revelation 21:10) Among the many phrases in the Bible that describe satan – father of lies, tempter, evil one, enemy, adversary, - he is also called the accuser of the people of God. God’s glory is revealed in His pristine reaction to the devil’s accusations about His kids – He conceals the matter. (Proverbs 25:2) It’s not the devil’s business how the Lord deals with His own children.
Guess what? Neither is it the business of any of God’s other children how he deals with His own. Being that we are not God, we can’t see the future. We have no idea what God is doing in this person’s life. We don’t know what this person is having to overcome or how far they have to go. We contribute nothing or so very little toward the solution, and we have absolutely no right to judge. Unless we are the pastor, or someone in authority over that person who is responsible for that person’s soul, our greatest task in the situation is to pray. . .and keep our mouths shut.
But it just felt so good to TELL IT! That is not the character of God. The fact is, the seeds that we sow will grow into a crop. And while God will deal with the failing brother or sister and set them on the right path, the accuser may find himself in need of God’s mercy. The question is, did he show mercy when he had to opportunity. When we sow seeds of disunity, gossip, backbiting, accusation, slander and rot, we get a crop of disunity, gossipers, backbiters, accusers, slanderers and rot. When we steal away someone’s heart from the loyalty they once had for a spiritual parent, we reap a crop of – yes – theft of the same kind. It does not have to be this way. God has given us power through His Spirit to sow seeds of unity, mercy, compassion, love, peace, righteousness and good fruit.
Our souls are at stake. The souls of our baby Christians and those who are looking in desiring to be a Christian are at stake. How long must we be guilty of murder? We murder our brothers through accusation, and we murder the little hope that new Christian’s and hungry souls have in the church.
We’ve been warned.
*Part 2 offers a scriptural solution to the problem presented in this writing. Thank God he doesn’t leave us without hope!
About: Jane Ward has been involved in ministry for 30 years. Most recently she became director at a pregnancy resource center. Jane is an author, publisher, teacher, whose passion is to connect with young women in order to share Jesus Christ with them and empower them to the abundant life Christ has made available for them. "Abundant life starts within through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It manifests itself outwardly through godly character."Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List