I’m angry. I’m beyond mad. I left frustrated behind a hundred miles back. I’m not merely ticked. I’m down right angry. I’d like to think I was right in my anger. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not.
You see I’ve seen a lot of mud slinging in the church the past couple of days. Christians calling into question the faith of other Christians. Christians calling into question whether or not some really love Jesus as they profess.
Isn’t that just like satan? Isn’t it just like him to confuse the issue with petty “you don’t really love Jesus if you…..” (you fill in the blank) We gloss over sin, in ourselves as well as the sin in others. Suddenly the stink is not about sin, but our motives. He confuses the issue so the problem is not sin, it’s the person sitting in the pew next to us who doesn’t serve Jesus as we think they should. They don’t love Jesus because they don’t love Him just like we do.
It’s like in Horton Hears A Who, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Sin is sin no matter how small.” Or large it might be. Sin is sin no matter if I am doing it or you are. Sin is sin.
I’m not any better than anyone. In fact, I rather agree with Paul;
I might not have persecuted the church, I might not have hauled Christians off to their death, but I was God‘s enemy nonetheless.
If one had not shown me the error of my ways. If someone had not told me of my sin, I would still be God’s enemy. But someone loved me enough to show me my sin, to say “Look! This is wrong. There is a better way!” Now I am not called God’s enemy, but rather God’s friend.
And I still sin. Amazing, isn’t it? I still mess up, horribly at times and God still calls me His friend. An undeserving sinner like me.
An undeserving sinner like the one sitting next to me in the pew. An undeserving sinner who maybe looks like you.
I can’t help but think we have it all wrong. Our fellow believers are not our enemy. They are our family, our friends. The people we are to love as Jesus loves us. At times it would seem to me that in our loving our enemy we choose to hate the one sharing the hymnal with us on Sunday morning.
Satan doesn’t have to persecute the church in America. The people sitting in the pews do enough of that.
People, we should not be doing satan’s job! How our actions and attitudes must grieve the heart of God. How our confusing the issues….which are always sin….must break His heart. How much grief have we caused Him by our glossing over sin, not only in our life but also in the lives of others. How much pain have we caused Him by hurting other believers.
How much damage have we done in eyes of the world by bashing believers? How much like Jesus are we really being if we claim to act like Jesus to the world while hating God’s family?
We are quick to say over and over “You can’t do that. It is not being like Jesus to the world. Jesus would never do that. If you do that you’re a hater.” They claim to be tolerant of everything, except those who think differently.
Yeah. We’re quick to point out the intolerance of others. “Everyone claims to be tolerant of everyone except believers.” Yeah. Well the world doesn’t have a corner on that market.
Lord, open my eyes to where I am being intolerant of others. Help me to be genuine. Help my scales be accurate.
I’ve expressed this thought before and it continues to be forefront in my mind, we are all different. None of us is the very same. As Christians (and by that I mean, more than just those who are not Muslim or Catholic, I mean all those who name the name of Jesus without using it as a swear word) we all love Jesus. Yet our love will look different. Our service will look different. God designed His church, His family that way. The way I serve Jesus might not look exactly like your service. That does not mean either of us is wrong. It certainly doesn’t mean either one of us doesn’t love Him. It means we’re different.
When Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble” and “you will be persecuted because of Me”, I somehow don’t think this is what He meant. This in-fighting the church in America is doing. Fellow believer, this grieves His heart. When we focus not on the issue but on attacking each other. When all we do is attack one another, we aren’t being a light to a dark world. We aren’t showing we are His by our love.
How on earth do we expect the world to want what we have when all we seem capable of doing to attacking each other? They don’t need that. They get attacked enough in the world. Why should they want to come to Jesus when they will be annihilated within the body?
I want my heart to be broken to bits over what breaks the heart of God, not by fellow believers attacks.