Thursday, October 7, 2010
Brothers, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. James 4:9A HCSB
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. 1 John 3:14A HCSB
When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints. Samuel Johnson*
Several years ago, I attended a knock down, drag out, nail biting, back biting, pull out all of the stops, bring your own bullet proof vest church business meeting. Personal complaints were verbalized which prompted vicious rebuttals. People pointed fingers, assigned blame, and even cursed. Even those called upon to pray had the audacity to complain about specific individuals in their prayers. I went home that evening extremely discouraged and seriously considered leaving the ministry altogether.
There’s a fine line between constructive criticism and critical complaints. As followers of Jesus, we must remember that we are His representatives. When we openly spread negative comments about fellow believers, we are damaging the validity of our own testimony while demeaning the value of their Christian witness and ministry.
Lord, help us to be people who lift each other up with the words that we say.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Trust in the Lord and do what is good; Psalm 37:3a
True holiness consists in doing God’s will with a smile. Mother Theresa of Calcutta*
There have been times in my life and ministry when I have said to God, “Surely this is not Your will for my life. Surely You didn’t provide me with all those years of education for me to be doing what I am doing right now. What’s the deal?”
God has always placed people in awkward situations. Stephen testified as to the divinity of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, but was immediately stoned to death. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? However, we later learn that because of this, Christians were scattered throughout all of Judea and Samaria. As the believers traveled, settled, worked, and lived, they spread their newfound faith to people throughout the entire land. God’s purposes were fulfilled because Stephen was obedient in a difficult situation.
God places us where He wants us to be. It’s not truly for us to understand why, but to be obedient to Him, doing good where He has placed us, serving Him with a smile.
Lord, help us to always faithfully serve You, no matter where that may be.