We have these convos every day about Christians we know who are really weak:
“Oh did you hear the news about so-and-so?!”
“Are you kidding me? How could so-and-so do this-and-that?”
“I know! I think we better spread the news about so-and-so!”
Well… okay not really.
It’s not exactly that obvious. Or, is it?
Of all the things our Loving Heavenly Father has to put up with 24/7 – this has to be one of the most aggravating.
He has to watch us fight and devour and gossip about one another rather than think the best and speak the best of one another behind our backs.
Ultimately, to speak of another’s weaknesses behind their backs with little intention to help that person and to inspire and invest in that person – shows one thing, and one thing only…
YOU ARE INSECURE AND SELFISH!
Sorry. Thought I would not sugar coat it.
But hey, maybe that is YOUR weakness. And of all sins, the sin of judging is the worst. If you claim to see clearly a speck in your brother’s eye, first make sure there is no PLANK in your own. And that PLANK is – the sin of judging your brother or sister. (Matthew 7:5)
But how would we interpret our childish behavior from the point of view of Our Father in Heaven?
Oooo. That’s good. Try looking at the way we talk about one another from the place of a PARENT.
When your kids come up and start talking about each other, of course, you listen. There may be truth to what they are saying (almost always there is truth) and you may need to know valuable information. But beyond the truth – you don’t want your kids to turn into tattle-tales and sibling police.
Jesus put up with this even with the Twelve disciples. Or maybe you didn’t notice in the Gospels that The Twelve didn’t always “get along” and in fact – James and John likely fought and scraped to be #1 and #2 Disciple… at first. But when Jesus saw their childish behavior, he usually corrected them and told them “the greatest of this group will be the one who serves this group.” (Matthew 23:11)
The most arrogant aspect of speaking of your brothers and sisters with critical judgment, is that you are weak too – just maybe in a different area. But when we start cutting down each other, Paul said “be careful lest you devour one another.” (Galatians 5:15)
I think this is probably the NUMBER 1 killer of God’s Kingdom expansion – looking for and exploiting other’s weaknesses without also praising them for their strengths. And I also think that it’s the enemy’s go to plan. Because – it works so amazingly well. And it appears (on earth, not in heaven) as if no one is doing anything wrong.
In high school, I did not like these people. I was not in the “in” crowd, and when the “in” crowd discovered this, like many other “fringe kids” I was persecuted, mocked, uninvited. Well, I found out some of them were Christians. So guess what? Jeff Saxton didn’t think much of Christians. But even as a 15 year-old, I knew that it was not Christ-like. The actions of these immature, insecure Believers did not turn me off from Jesus, but they could have very easily.
As a senior in high school, out of nowhere I blossomed. I grew 11 inches, and my muscles seemed to pop out everywhere, when as a sophomore I was so short that the football coach said I couldn’t play because they didn’t make football pants small enough to fit my short legs.
During that incredible, indescribable 11 inch growth spurt… I was constantly eating and losing fat. My legs hurt at night as the bones literally cracked and popped in expansion.
I was never into girls because I was always short, fat, unpopular, and ugly.
As a senior, I was taller than the bullies that used to beat me up, and girls that laughed at me were staring at me and smiling. Popular guys that used to mock me were inviting me to parties.
And you see the funny thing is this – I SAW THROUGH THE SHALLOWNESS OF IT ALL.
God called me to ministry at age 19. I won’t go into detail but, it was the most incredible and amazing series of experiences. Does God still speak through burning bushes? You bet!
But of all people, he called Jeff Saxton.
He really has a sense of humor. But one thing that I believe he worked into me is this value of human decency, and speaking well of one another.
And so yes my radar for such behavior is very advanced. Its a strength, in that sense. I have many weaknesses, in case you didn’t notice! LOL
But here’s the thing: As Christians, and even more Christian leaders, it’s time to be counter-intuitive in this area.
I get it, gifted, talented, experienced, anointed people intimidate us.
But look – what you THINK is the way to get elevated? Well, that is the way also to be ETERNALLY DEMOTED.
And this tendency to be afraid to have others think the best and speak the best of these people that intimidate you, well it will actually destroy what you are trying to build.
Now if you are building your own following, well, you can do that. It’s nothing that will be giving you eternal rewards, so be it. That is your decision.
But the one who is not afraid to let others be spoken well of and thought of in the best light (Yes I know – they have weaknesses – just like you) well, that person will truly advance and build the Kingdom.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A KINGDOM BUILDER?
Then repent. It’s time to actually pray and seek God and turn from your wicked ways.
“Is it really that wicked, Jeff?”
Like I said, I am as weak and guilty as anyone. The difference is I actually go to God, get on my knees, repent, forgive, and then seek to do good to others who don’t reciprocate.
“Are you saying this just to brag and act like your better?”
No. I am not better. And second, I am doing this because I am trying to please an audience of ONE.
The question is, who are you REALLY, trying to please?
Hey, I am here to help, here to listen. And I am no better.
But I am trying to obey.
I am a weak, imperfect servant who seeks to put into practice the words of Christ and the Bible OT and NT.
And I am NOT doing this to brag, grow a ministry or church, write a book or get famous.
I am doing it to please the Lord.
Thanks for reading.