I had and epiphany recently. Over the past week, it has freed my mind. I step a little lighter now. Thank goodness for that.
Over the years, I have been self-witness to some cold questions that have lingered long in my heart. My observations of the church and the people that comprise them forced me to concentrate deeply on words and body language.
So many mixed messages. Standing in the middle, watching men point fingers at one another, I didn’t know whom to believe. One would file a verbal complaint in conversation against another. He would file a complaint against someone else. And they would, in turn, carry misgivings about the first person. All were at an internal war with one another.
The problem for me was, I agreed with each of them. I agree the faults of each were present. What did they see wrong with me, then? Why did our differences tear apart the body of Christ? Were we so immature and self-determined?
This is nothing new. Look at what James says in chapter 4:1-3, “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Look at verse 2! James is talking about brothers in the body of Christ committing murder! Paul tells us that it is better to be wronged.
Getting to know these brothers, I saw that they really did have a heart for God. Each one of them. And they each were stuck in a spiritual rut.
Why don’t God’s professing children take in his word? Why don’t they memorize it and employ it? Why don’t they build each other up with it? This is just what we are instructed to do. Why are we tearing each other apart?
Why do I sit in fellowship meetings and witness people being lazy-minded and lack-lustre with no desire to know the heart of God through his written word? Do they want no part of God, really? If we say we love God, how do we live it out?
We are so self-centered. Not Christ-centered. James goes on to say in verse 11, “Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.”
I am so guilty of this. In this way, I need to become a “doer” of the law. Something that will allow me to be humble and find it easier to do this is comprehending this idea: there are people who profess to follow God and just the entrance into heaven is enough for them.
Attending church and fellowships is a social outlet, not much else. It assures their salvation. There is no need to go deeper.
I am built so different. I hunger after his word. To study it. Chew on it. Digest it. And savor some more.
I must step slowly and carefully over those who do not. I do NOT want to crush them.