Tag Archives: Christians

Critical Christians

I’m going to pick on someone a little bit. If you’re reading this, I love you!

I posted something on Facebook one day and I had a misspelled word or something. I’m that person, so immediately I got onto Facebook to correct it. And as I finished I had a comment from someone, almost immediately, on the correction I needed to make.

My response: while I was correcting, you were criticizing. I use this example, not to call out anyone, but to call out everyone, because that’s what we do. We criticize, not knowing that that person is making corrections…

Jesus set a great example of patience with people. I don’t think He ever expected anyone to immediately get everything right in their lives. I think He knew that mankind typically required a process of change. And when I think about Jesus, I often think of the criticism of the Pharisees. They had more to say about the people Jesus hung around than anyone. They couldn’t believe He would interact with tax collectors and harlots, people who in their opinion, were filth.

But in such a rush to criticize both Jesus and these people, they missed the fact that meeting Jesus made them want to correct their lifestyles. They watched other people’s salvation stories when they could have had their own. They missed the opportunity to congratulate instead of critique. The opportunity to commend instead of condemn.

I’m afraid that even today, we will still miss it. We’ll miss an opportunity to join Jesus at work or to praise His work because we’re too busy wondering why He’s wasting time on them. We’ll get so sidetracked on who God is working through that we miss the fact that He is working.

It’s not my job to wonder if God is making the right choice. It’s my job to know He is. So when He chooses someone’s life to correct, it would be good to not criticize them. But it would be best to congratulate them.

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement

Hypocritical Christian

AttachmentIt’s easy to be a hypocritical Christian. The comparison game is human nature, so naturally we can start to think well at least I don’t do that… 

I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but I don’t believe I took Christianity seriously all my life. I knew the things I shouldn’t do, but I never had a heart of obedience quite as big as my heart of guilt. If I felt guilty enough, I wanted that to convince me not to sin. It wasn’t a matter of loving God enough to stop, or at least it wasn’t until I was older.

I say all that to say Christians should be more careful. I was a good kid, and I was a Christian in my younger days, but I don’t know that I was a Christ follower in the areas I most needed to be one in, in those areas where I had so much influence.

See, I didn’t get drunk, but I did drink too much. I didn’t have sex, but I might have gone a little too far. I didn’t exactly lie, but I didn’t tell the whole truth either. In my mind, I wasn’t perfect, but I certainly wasn’t as bad as “her” or “him.”

However, the bottom line still remains that I was and am not as good as Christ. Which means that I am imperfect and flawed. I sin. The comparison of my sin to others was bad. But the hypocrisy of my Christianity was just plain sad.

James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat other. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement

Pray for your Country

Exile – the state of being barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons.

Jeremiah 29:4-7

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

What an interesting command. Prosper. And pray for the prosperity of your city, because when it does well, you do well. Seems simple enough., but wait, they’re in exile.

So if that was God’s command to people in exile, what do we think He wants us to do? Does He not want us to pray for our nation, even when our person doesn’t win, and maybe especially when they do? And we aren’t even in exile.

Is not the well-being of our country in the hands of those who follow Christ? Aren’t we supposed to be hopeful and different? If we won’t pray for our nation, who will? If we won’t do better, who do we expect to?

In a nation in need of spiritual prosperity, why are there so many Christians not praying for any? Jeremiah 29:11 says God knows the plan He has for us, for good for a future and hope, but let’s not skip the fact that they had a command in the meantime.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

“Christians”

“Christians” are some of the most annoying people sometimes. They preach and don’t practice it. The tell, but don’t do. They speak and don’t think.

“Christians” can always point out a speck, and miss the log. They can tell you what’s wrong, and not offer any solution. They can tell you how to fix it, but won’t help in the repair. They can, but they usually won’t.

Christians who don’t do godly things are a problem. There is nothing like a person that proclaims Christianity, but doesn’t live it. It’s so easy to say you’re a Christian, but a whole other task to actually be one.

I am tired of people claiming to have a ministry but not walking in God’s will. I am tired of people claiming Christianity, but blatantly, very openly sinning. It’s annoying to see people pronounce themselves as Christians, calling themselves leaders, and not doing godly things. It’s unfortunate to think of the souls they are leading from Christ because of their poor example.

Emerson said it best, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

As frustrated as I am, God reminded me that He hates this even more than I do. He’s seen it so many times. He’s been much more hurt by it than I have. And you know who caused it? Me. I was a “Christian” doing ungodly things, and God forgave me. As undeserving as I was and am, He forgave me. He forgives me.

So the message I have for myself is to pray for these people. Somebody, somewhere prayed for me, and I needed it. Who am I not to do the same? We can’t get mad about “Christians,” when we need to spend that energy praying for them. When we think about the things we’ve done to God, can we really cast stones?

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Responsible Christians

As a Christian you have responsibilities. We have accountability. And people need to understand that.

If we expressed the responsibilities that we have as Christians to one another, we wouldn’t have so many people laying claim to Christian lives but not living them. The reason we’re having to ask people if they are Christians is because we have removed the responsibility and accountability there is for being one.

If we held Christians and Christian leaders accountable for their roles and responsibilities, we would have a lot less people jumping up proclaiming to be called by the Lord. The role of a preacher would be a lot less appealing if all preachers were held accountable for what that call means. As Paul said in referencing to preaching, “I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News.”

The same applies to Christians. If you are a Christian you are compelled to do God’s will. You are held accountable for doing His will or not doing it because it is your responsibility. In short, as a Christian you have a responsibility to tell others about Christ, but you have an even bigger responsibility to show others Christ by how you live.

1 Corinthians 9:16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, God

STOP Promoting Sin

Wrong is wrong and sin is sin.

I’m sorry. I just can’t condone wrong behavior. I can’t condone it if my family or friends are doing it, and I can’t condone it if I’m doing it.

And I also can’t excuse it either.

We have to stop promoting things and calling it God’s plan when we were doing something that was out of His will.

God’s will is Holy. It is Wholly Holy. And because God is God He did take your mess and bless you. But by no means did He ever intend for us to do anything outside of His will and act like we were in it. When you had sex knowing you weren’t married you weren’t in God’s will. When you had that liter of alcohol and recovered the next day, you weren’t in God’s will. And when you mismanaged your money and God blessed you with a raise, you weren’t in His will. When you lied and got out of that jam, you weren’t in God’s will.

I have made many of mistakes. More than I care to admit that I have made. I’ve done some of the above, and I knew I was wrong. And all I ever wanted to do was justify what I was doing. But here’s the thing about me and sin/wrong. I know when I’m doing it.

Anything wrong that I’ve done, I either knew it before I did it, while I was doing it, or after I did it. And because I knew better, I do believe I am in a different boat. I do feel held to a higher level of accountability because I know better.

And I guess what I’m saying now is that people need to be held accountable, even when they aren’t holding themselves accountable. There are things that you cannot be OK with doing and promoting if you are living for God.

God can turn anything around. But wouldn’t it be nice if we gave Him less situations that need fixing and more that just need His healing? Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to ask God to fix the mistake I made in sinning by not doing it? And wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t condone and promote those mistakes as if I was in His will when I committed them?

God is God. And God is good, but don’t ever for a second think that He is pleased with you being out of His will. And just remember that promoting all this wrong is not right. And whether we want to hold ourselves accountable or not, there will come a time when we have to. Are you ready for that day?

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Wrong

The Issue with Christians

I was reading my Bible and when I sat and thought about John I said, “Whoa! He had a big responsibility!” John was to carry the gospel before Jesus and prepare the way for Him (Luke 1:76). But, that mindset of mine was an issue to me. It’s an issue for several Christians too.

Far too often I read the Bible and say, “Whoa, that’s quite a responsibility.” And shamefully I forget that I have the same one. As a Christian, isn’t it my responsibility to prepare the way that has already been made for Christ’s return by sharing The Gospel?

The issue is that we read the Bible too much and don’t see ourselves in it like we should. We read it and don’t see the very same responsibilities was have today, or the parallels of the same downfalls we face today, and the fact that we’ve actually been warned already. It’s been too many times that I’ve criticized Peter, ignorant to the fact that I’ve done worse. I claimed to know Christ and willingly, voluntarily even, sinned against Him.

I have read of Israel turning its back on God and been confused by His continual willingness to forgive them and bless them, only for them to do it all over again. Hasn’t He yielded the very same patience and forgiveness towards me? Has God not granted me yet another day knowing in advance that I still have to make a choice to do right or wrong?

Just as often I’ve read in amazement at the boldness of believers to preach God’s Word, as if He hasn’t given me the same power and Holy Spirit to do so as well.

Israel is God’s chosen nation. Peter saw who he really was and committed to being what God wanted him to be. And what of me?

An issue with Christians is that we want all the power and right to tell God what someone else deserves or what we deserve. Yet, we don’t want to use the actual power He has given us to do His will. I want to point the finger at Peter and Israel and criticize their mistakes, but I don’t want to own up to my responsibility.

When I think of all the times God has forgiven me and all the times I’ve gone out of my way to be disobedient to Him and He has still spared my life, I’d say I’ve gotten the best undeserved gift of all, salvation. As Christians, if we stayed mindful of that, there wouldn’t be an issue.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships