Stop the Complain Train, I'm getting off.

If you have been a part of social media in the slightest bit in the last couple of months, and especially the last couple of weeks, you have probably witnessed what I like to refer to as

 "The 2012 Trample of Philippians 2:14".

You know, the verse that says "Do ALL THINGS without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God, without rebuke in a crooked and perverse nation."

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being the salt and light in this tasteless and dark world we live in. But I can't help but ask myself, are we going too far?

I haven't had a lot of spiritual posts, lately. Not just because I've been incredibly obsessed with making sure the world gets to know and falls in love with (like I have) my beautiful baby boy, but also because I always have that feeling in my gut, that thought in the back of my head after I post one - are people going to say to themselves - "What does she know about this?" " Who does she think she is"? Well let me assure you, I don't really know squat about it. I don't really think I'm anybody. I'm just a young woman who is still learning about life. One who hasn't even been a Christian for half of my life. This is just my opinion. You don't have to agree with me. What I have been seeing lately has really been bothering me, so I felt like I would share what I've noticed.

We've gotten to a point where our posts of comics and satire aren't really about how our hearts break for the lost and empty, but about how "stupid" they are and how they are way off track with almost a snicker hidden in the footer of the post. It's anything but funny, really.

And the anger and hostility that comes with most of it is also a little much. I don't know, maybe it's something about being a mom. Maybe having a son has completely rocked my world, but I cant help but look over at the picture of some of these people in these arguments I have seen lately and there they are, just a young high school or college looking boy. And I can't help but think that if (God forbid) even with all of the upbringing we are going to try to give our son, if he one day found himself questioning and lost, would I want people to talk to him this way? Do I think the comments about his intelligence and the humor they find in his lost soul would lead him closer to God, or further away? I've seen people defending God's commandments in one sentence and then using language like "libtard" and "d-bag" in another. It makes me sad.

It's something to think about. Every time you discuss these issues with someone. If this was your child (or your brother, or mother, etc) how would you want someone to speak to them right now? What would help them get closer to God? The TRUTH, I know. But Ephesians 4:15 talks about speaking the truth IN LOVE. This is maturity in Christ.

Uh oh. I said the L-word.

Even though this word is mentioned  697 times in the Bible (depending on what version you use), if you over use this word, you might just be called a TOLERANT Christian. A "liberal Christian", a "left side Christian".

I saw a quote just the other day about how God did not call Christians to be tolerant of evil.

And that is exactly correct, He did not.

What he did say is spoken from the mouth of Jesus in Luke 6:35-36.

Those verses say that God is kind to the unthankful and evil, so for us to be MERCIFUL with them, just as God was merciful with us. God sure has been merciful with me.

To me, merciful doesn't mean agreeing with their actions. It means disagreeing with actions with compassion, kindness, consideration of their hearts and experiences they have been through. I want to be careful of my attitude. I don't want to get so wrapped up in not "tolerating evil" in order to fit in with what everyone is complaining about to the point where I start trashing people and exalting myself.

In Luke 18, Jesus was telling a parable (to some who were confident in their own righteousness) about 2 different men and the attitudes of their heart towards those who sin. One was a Pharisee, and when he came into the temple he prayed - "God, thank you that I am not like all of these other men,... the robbers, evil doers, sexual immoral, and even like this tax collector. The other man, the tax collector, did not even look up to Heaven, but asked "God please have mercy on me, a sinner!" Jesus said that the TAX COLLECTOR was the man who was justified that day. For he who exalts himself with be humbled. And he who humbles himself will be exalted.

These aren't the words of some great theologian. Not the words of a great Gospel preacher. They are the words of Jesus. The man whom we as Christians are supposed to strive to be like in every way.

The sad part is, some will read this very post (where I am quoting our own Savior, and they will consider me and my words to be "paving the road to hell" with my LOVE AND TOLERANCE. I think maybe that is the very thought that the Pharisee had in Luke 18. We should be careful.

My point here is, do I think we should stand up for God's Word and what we believe is right? Absolutely.

But do I think we need to do it in an unkind way, arguing and having an attitude of righteousness where we forget that we also have any faults? Absolutely Not.

Even in this post I am hypocritical and inconsistent. I say I'm tired of complaining, and so I complain about it. See? Far from perfection.

But still, Kindness DOES NOT EQUAL tolerance.

If that is true, then like I mentioned before, in Luke 6, Jesus would be telling us that God is kind tolerant to the ungrateful and evil...  And we all know that isn't true.

adjective, kind·er, kind·est. - of a good nature, considerate, mild, gentle.

verb (used with object), tol·er·at·ed, tol·er·at·ing. - to endure without objection.
These two words do not have the same meaning. Which means, you CAN do one, without doing the other, despite popular belief.
So from this day forward, I will strive to treat everyone that I disagree with, with kindness and mercy, just as Jesus asked me to. I will remember my own faults before pointing out anyone elses, in order to try and stay humble. I have much to work on, let me tell ya! In fact, even though I have been a Christian for 8 years, some of my weaknesses and struggles are still pretty high up there on the "oh boy" meter of faults.
  For example:

Here's a confession, and it's not one I am proud of. But I've always vowed to be completely real and completely open on this blog. (What a waste of time it would be if I wasn't right?!)

 I used to have serious potty mouth.
Yeah. It was pretty bad. I mean, ... like a sailor. You'd be shocked. Thankfully, when I became a Christian and decided to strip away the old me and put on the new me, I metaphorically folded up my potty mouth all nice and neat and tucked it tightly away in a nice little box ... and KICKED IT TO THE CURB immediately! Easy as pie.
Ha. If only it were that simple.

Filthy language is like a drug. It's like alcohol. You can very easily get addicted, and it's really hard to kick the habit. I'll be the first to let you know, it's an every day struggle. To alter your speech after all of those years?? It takes tons of self control. And when you first start to substitute your words, its tough. You slip. And if they don't come out of your mouth, they are there in your mind bouncing around.
I'm human. And I have lived more than half of my life letting whatever words I wanted come out of my mouth. So I'm not going to tell you that when I stump my toe, or burn my finger, that I don't sometimes have to stop and say a little prayer to help me get through it.
Create in me a pure heart, Oh God.
And it gets better, the more you study and pray and want to be a good Christian, but it is something I still have to work on. It makes me sad to have to say that. I wish that studying and praying and well,... just my love for God in general would be enough to cause me to never say those things (or even think them!) ever again. But it's not. Not yet. But STRIVING matters, right? It is something I have failed miserably at over the past years.
So ... with that being said - why would I be so hard on someone for something they do wrong when I am still working to make myself better?

I hope as Christians trying to help bring the lost to Christ, we always have a broken heart for them. We always do what we can to be an example of kindness, humility, and gentleness, because those are the things that are going to help them want to know the One who puts those things in our hearts. Even towards our enemies. We don't have to be silent on what we think is wrong in order to do that, we just need to make sure our attitude is mercy and not pride. If you get ANY kind of kick out of posting about the sin of others, how their souls are in jeopardy, and how you are doing all these great things for God, but snicker at those who are "idiots" and don't have a clue .... I would just stop and look at your attitude for just a moment.

It was the Sinner in Luke 18 who left justified. The same one that the Pharisee just trashed in his prayer for his wicked ways.

Will our words make us justified?

God, our hearts break for those who have yet to know you. It makes us want to cry when we think of what they are missing out on. I know, I once felt that emptiness in my own heart and soul. Help us be the example that will bring them closer to you. With love, and mercy, and kindness. Not so we can be RIGHT, but so that YOU will be Glorified. Let us stand for you with confidence while we are known for meekness and gentleness, just like Your Son. And let us not forget our own faults, because we too are still striving to be pure in heart. Thank you so much for being a forgiving and merciful God. In Jesus name, Amen.     

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1 comment :

  1. You are such an amazing young womand I and I am so glad to call you friend. Beautiful words that I am more than positive the Holy Spirit helped craft! :)


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