Dearly Beloved, [Wonder of wonders, that is what we are!] Are you feeling increasingly unsettled?
With the growing discord in our world, and more recently on our own soil, it’s as if the proverbial snowball of evil has been rolling down a long and windy hill that is steep at the bottom, and suddenly has landed, scattering shards. There is no land untouched by the increasing violence of darkened souls.
Yesterday I felt a familiar tight knot. A sort of fist in my heart and lungs and head – as weighty as the day was cloudy. “Lord, is this ‘sense’ an identification with your heart for the current state of the world? Or is this the sin of unbelief? This tension I feel, how do you feel about it?”
Considering it all with him, my feelings and thoughts all jumbled, I came to see it is a mixture of both sacred and sin. “Lord, deliver me from my unbelief!”
“How long, O LORD? How long will the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?”
I couldn’t stand to look at the internet, voices seemed to be screaming, words repeating, the reports, the commands, the demands, the reprimands, the blatterstands and clatterbands. [So . . . I made the last two up. 🙂 ]
But I was looking.
Because I want to assess the situation. Uncertain how to respond. How to think, feel, act [or not] and I am cautious. Reading. Discerning. Looking for God and His heart, His hand, His will. “What are You doing here, Lord? How should we respond?”
I am concerned. And I am hopeful. Concern comes naturally, but I have to fight to maintain hope. As Paul describes it, fighting the good fight of faith, hope in things unseen.
I believe that in a day like today, quiet is good and slow is wise.
Last night a FB friend linked to a post about Christians being blamed. And it engaged that place in my heart and lungs and head. Because often during crisis, I’ve seen posts by Christians against Christians, and as I have ruminated on the outcome of the “Open Letters To The Church” and other such addresses, I’ve come to see the potential harm. The result being, lending more fuel to the fire displayed in the linked article.
It grieves me, and I believe it’s a grief that is more sacred than sinful.
If we openly rebuke, even bully one another in public. If we paint Jesus’ Bride in broad, condemning strokes; holding our own ideals as the standard. [For example: “This is what I do, Church, you should do it too!”] we fuel angst. Not to mention that it sounds a lot like legalism.
Our divisiveness serves the enemy. Angst begets angst.
We think we see the way that all should follow.
It seems logical.
I’ve thought this way myself. Thankfully, long before internet was a thing – so my thoughts had less opportunity to become words. And I have learned through the “School of God” [“Hello Honey, I call my people to follow Me, not everyone has the same course.”]
Time + Experience = Wisdom
The problem with open, public shaming or rebuke is that those who do so fail to discern that the weeds and wheat grow together. We might want to uproot the weeds, but fail to see we are wounding the wheat. We fail to acknowledge that to publicly berate the Bride of Christ, we are feeding Cain and Ishmael and Esau’s arsenal (the angry heart that would not submit, but instead crucified our Savior) the one who persecutes the children of God.
God will not hold guiltless the unrepentant, who accuse and wound His blood-bought Bride. And we should pray for those who act in ignorance. Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
The fact that we are washed by the blood and free from condemnation is the glorious truth of our standing before God. Praise Jesus! That is why we should never accuse one another in the spirit of the accuser.
God has established an orderly way for us to grow in Christlikeness.
It is in the context of “home” amid relationships, in family and in local gatherings, in friendships and around tables. Submitted to one another, committed to one another, honoring those He puts in leadership in our lives. Those who have the right and the responsibility to oversee and care for our souls. Pastors and leaders and teachers and fathers and mothers, and sisters and brothers.
I suspect the bull-horns of social media – which, at times might be likened to our “modern Tower of Babel” have increased the chaos and division we have experienced of late, exponentially.
Love certainly doesn’t come through in a public rebuke. Even if love is there, it’s likely indiscernible.
God’s desire is that we edify one another, that we are “for” each other. That we do good to all people and especially those who belong to the family of God.
It’s a simple way, really, but not easy.
Lord, be with us, and fill us with faith. May we be faithful to pray, keeping our eyes on you and our hearts tuned to Your voice. Help us love one another well, build one another up. Help us hope in what we cannot see. Hope in You! Lead us O Lord. Amen.
The Atmosphere is changing now, the Spirit of the Lord is here. Miracles can happen now, the Spirit of the Lord is here. The evidence is all around . . .