Saturday, October 19, 2013

Are Your Words Killing Others?

I was thinking while eating lunch today about how people love to quote Proverbs 18:21 (Death and life are in the power of the tongue) and sing songs that say "I shall live and not die." I know in most cases, we're saying that to ourselves, but here's a question: are we speaking life to others or are our words killing others? As many times that we can say to ourselves that we're speaking life, I'm willing to say that our words are actually harming others. Why? We're innate selfish!

Before you stop reading, think about it for a minute. How do we kill others? When we down them because of where they are in life or perhaps they may not be a spiritual as you. We speak death to others when we give off a "holier than thou" tone. We speak death to others when God is not the focus of your speech and it's your pride and ego in the way. We tend to speak death those who don't have the same personality as you or who don't bow down to you. I'll use a perfect example as to how our words kill others. When you keep telling people (as you're speaking life to yourself) that you interact with the following phrases, "You're incompetent, you're just like your mother/father - a good for nothing; you'll never be better than me; God's favor is on me and you'll be blessed if you do what I tell you to do; you're old; you're deteriorating; you're just like the other men; you're too good for me; you're not good enough; you're not spiritual enough to be in my circle; you're not like my pastor" and the list goes on. When a person hears phrases like this from you, whether you know it or not, you are abetting in a person's physical death, mental death or worse, spiritual death. Another example is this: at my former church, the pastor would say cursed are those who didn't attend his church. 

Here's something that you may not have thought of, our silence can actually speak death to others. When we don't stand up for the truth and remain silent, we're actually speaking death to everyone around you. Sure, we can speak life unto ourselves and puff ourselves up, we might want to be careful because we can end up acting just like the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14. Check this out: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Just a short message to say this: if we can encourage ourselves and speak life to ourselves, speak life to a hurting soul and drop your ego, pride and anything else that may give the tone of speaking death. We can't afford to have our words killing another person. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Attitudes As Christians

I would like to extend to a huge thanks to two authors for inspiring this blogpost (Danielle Taylor & Cynthia Lamb). I believe that our attitudes as Christians need to change for the better; if we don't, we will have a lot of blood on our hands and perpetrate the fraud thinking we're doing Kingdom business. I have a lot of topics to cover on this topic, so I will get directly to the point. You see, our selfishness attitudes, our pride and egos as Christians is why we are failing at Kingdom business.

I hear this phrase quite a bit from Christians, "I'm cutting people off cause they're not adding growth or I can't be around them cause they have too many issues, or cause they don't support my favorite preacher, gospel artist, etc." Here's a rhetorical question: Did Jesus ever cut anybody off? Many people would look to Judas, but the truth is that Judas cut himself off. God never cut anybody off (He pronounced judgment only because they cut themselves off from Him). So how dare we think that we're bigger than Jesus by cutting people off? What makes this even worse is that we cut people off due to minor issues (such as the things mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph). Now I did cut one person off by blocking them (this was a stalker case and due to her mental state). Now that doesn't mean that I won't stop loving her or praying for her. See, when we tend to cut people off, we do it with so much malice that we act no different than the world. Here's a question worth considering: have you ever prayed for anyone you've cut off, or did you frown your nose when you cut them off? In all seriousness, it shows that we are on the throne and not God. Let me make something clear: I'm not saying that you don't use discernment when you deal with people, you MUST do that.

Our attitudes actually aid to the number of agnostics and atheists. If we were to show love and compassion towards them (because God loves them too), they would see how real Christ is. Yes, they ultimately make the final decision, but we don't want to hinder them with our pride and ego. Sadly, there are times they get it better than we do due to our behavior.

One of my dear friends made this comment: when you have Christians going overseas to preach the gospel versus preaching in their own state (due to fear, burned out), that's a sign that we're not heeding the New Testament (thinking on scriptures such as bearing one another's burdens, and pairing up in twos - to witness, and pray in agreement). But at the same token, another sister friend said that missionaries overseas are coming over to witness to us because we're too complacent with the gospel (I would even add the fact that we are so partial to the gospel, that we would rather hand around our respective cliques - you must go to my church to be a part of my circle - and the 99 found sheep). So, what have we shown to the world? How to be fragmented and divided. Now how's that for Kingdom business?

How did we ever get to the place that we will attack those who are truly God's anointed versus those who are perpetrating a fraud? We will tear down those who God put up, and we lift up people who we KNOW are living foul and will cover it up cause they itch our ears? What does that show? We're selfish (and heaven forbid that we call it out, then we have to hear "you're judging." And don't let me tell you that I'm in sin, for you would end that friendship with me quickly - but then you want me to show love and compassion when you slip and fall). Also, how did we get to the place where we base our friendships and associations based on who gives us goosebumps, itches our ears, and supports our personal agenda? What about God's agenda and what He wants us to do? And the last thing for this point: how did we get to the place where we tell people who are going through to "Talk to God" but then turn around and want them to stop what we're doing to pray for us? That is not only discrimination, but it's also hypocritical and we need to repent for our behavior.

There are things that people will want to debate you over such as "how come you don't defend my pastor, or my church?" and we Christians will get mad (and scholarly I might add) if we don't defend their pastor, their church, etc. I'm not saying this is arbitrarily a bad thing, but when it takes precedence over the Bible, then it's a major problem!

The last thing I want to touch on is "titles." When we put our title over the fact that we're a child of God first (and you drop your sanctification if you're recognized for your title), then we have a serious problem. Now, you can call yourself what you want, I still consider you a child of God first (but I will respect your title and your position). And granted, I may have a title, but I also know that my title is not who I am ultimately. I'm a friend/child of God (and a brother in Christ) first.

Yes, I know that we're going to be hated by men, but it's a travesty when hatred comes from those who say they're in the body of Christ. If we keep pride, egotism as our attitudes in the body of Christ, we'll be doing more harm than good when it comes to Kingdom business.

Now, this post is really out of love and concern, and really a plea that we've got to get back to being on one accord. If we really want the signs and wonders in Acts 2 (as well as seeing many get saved), we have to be on one accord (of course, not solely for the signs and wonders, that's what God wants from us anyway). It's been said, we will be known by our fruit, not by our prosperity!


The Mayne Man