When people don’t like someone, they make up stories about them in their minds. They judge everything they do through the lens of suspicion, and they even read bad motives into their good actions.
DOG EAT DOG WORLD
I spent ten years in the business world. In the business world, the rules of the game are “dog eat dog.” Every day the competition is literally trying put you out of business. It can be brutal.
I learned quickly to live with my guard up all the time. But I never imagined that being a pastor could be so painful. I understand what Jesus said about persecution, but I just never thought it would come from my fellow Christians.
I came into ministry with a childlike innocence. I was excited to serve the Body of Christ. But it wasn’t long before I came to realize that Christians often have less respect for their leaders than employees have for their bosses.
I was unprepared for how nasty “Christians” can be simply because they disagreed with you.
I have found that Christian's are almost always the most judgmental people in my world. If you have nice things, then you are robbing the poor. If you have crappy stuff then you must be doing something wrong, or don’t have enough faith for God to bless you. If you speak out on something you are a hater. If you remain silent, you are a coward. If you don't mention a verse for every point you make, the scripture police cite you for being a pastor who doesn't know the Bible.
It never occurred to me that believers would ever question my relationship with Jesus! Especially because I didn’t vote the same way they did or watch the same news broadcast! The freedom Christians feel to call someone a false prophet or judge a person’s motives as evil, inspired by the devil, is beyond troubling! Some of the harshest and nastiest people I know read their Bible everyday, say they believe every word, can quote more verses than I ever will and yet spew hatred and attack others mercilessly.
Maybe we need to start taking seriously what we read in the Bible and stop using it as a weapon.
Talking about this issue in his book, The Grip of Grace’, Max Lucado writes the following:
‘The consequence is a rocky boat. There is trouble on deck. Fights have broken out. Sailors have refused to speak to each other. There have even been times when one group refused to acknowledge the presence of others on the ship. Most tragically, some adrift at sea have chosen not to board the boat because of the quarreling of the sailors.’
Stop it!! Do you have any idea how you look to those watching you? Do you have any idea how your behavior affects the reputation of God? A little insight, my daughter will never return to church after hearing how I have been treated. That’s the result. Repent. Remember, Jesus is our model. He is perfect theology.
To those of you watching, please forgive us. Please don’t think that the awful ways you have seen Christians treat each other or how they have treated you poorly in any way reflects how your Father in Heaven feels about you. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m so sorry.
I will close with this controversial doctrine:
I believe that Christians should follow Christ, not just memorize His teaching. For example, loving people, forgiveness, not holding offense and being patient shouldn’t be just words on a page, but words that become flesh and dwell within us.
That’s the difference between a Christian and a Christ-follower.