“All That Glitters It Not Gold” is such an interesting warning! Isn’t it amazing how things can look so pretty from one perspective, but then from another you discover something designed to do harm.
This blog has been something stirring in my heart for quite some time. I heard someone say that girls are so much meaner that guys. It made me reflect on some of the social media posts that I have seen over the past year. It has nothing to do with male or female. Actually it has more to do with humanity in general.
I was talking to a friend recently and the subject came up about a person that we both know who happens to be a well know minister. We were talking about how he is so often criticized and judged. And most often it’s by a group of people who understand the challenges of being in ministry and should be cheering him on. As we talked I reflected back on many other times where I have heard similar situations of criticism or judgement. It really saddens me that this happens so often. Not only in the church world, but in the world in general. And social media has magnified this type of behavior, unfortunately! Even my husband has mentioned a few times, “Sometimes I want to post something that says, ‘Pastors have feelings too!’ because people don’t realize that we are human just like them.”
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion – even if it’s ill informed. However, I believe the saying, “Just because it’s true, doesn’t make it right!” The disappointing thing to me is that Christians (including church leaders) speak out publicly against other people, leaders, pastors, and churches (even other denominations) and thereby encouraging other Christians to lose respect for and/or doubt the authenticity. They feel the liberty to publicly attack those whom they don’t really understand or know. It’s embarrassing.
As a Christian, I’m especially discouraged by the behavior of pastors/ministers/leaders who criticize, attack or diminish the significance of other Christian ministers.
This behavior and attitude is why many people do not want to be a part of Christianity or go to church because they feel that when they go to church they will be criticized the way our “brothers and sisters in Christ” do to each other.
My husband and I have, at times, been the focus of exactly what I am talking about today. No one likes to be the topic of gossip. But we remind ourselves to see the best in people, forgive, and keep moving forward.
I’m learning that when you feel comfortable in your own skin, you’re not threatened or offended by the imperfections you see in others. You know how difficult it is to deal with life’s daily challenges because you’ve had to weather them yourself. You begin to find it easier to activate compassion and patience instead of criticism for others.
In the midst of difficult times it’s important to remind yourself of the Grace and Love of God! He placed within you a heart that is strong enough to resist judgment, anger, bitterness or retaliation. Love, Grace, and Forgiveness will always accomplish more!!
The world does enough to tear us down, is it really necessary for Christians turn and attack each other? Who really looks bad in the end? The attacked, or the attacker?
We have a saying in our family and church. We say that we are “Loving People to Life”. This is not just a cliche’ or an ‘action statement’, but a lifestyle. There is no room in this to judge, criticize, attack, or belittle others.
It would not take long for one of these self appointed ‘judges of all other people/ministries’ to listen to one of my messages and find flaws.
I leave things out.
I mis- speak.
I don’t say what I was going to say and sometimes say what I should not.
But that does not make me a liar, a hypocrite, a fake or a false prophet.
It just makes me human; doing the best I can to do my part in sharing the love of God with others.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph 4:29-31 NIV
Christians Please!! Don’t follow this example and criticize publicly those ministers whose methods you don’t agree with or understand.
Leaders – this has got to stop. Please, Please – it’s not your job to judge everyone publicly.
Everyone – Let’s encourage each other, lets pray for one another and teach those you influence – to have more grace.
It is difficult enough to be a minister because of the challenges we face – the spiritual warfare we encounter! We don’t need our own brothers and sisters needlessly attacking.
Let’s preach what we are FOR not what we are AGAINST.
Let’s Love People To Life!
P.S. I think next time I’ll write about how to recover from critics & gossip. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!