Infighting, backstabbing and gossip. Any pastor can tell you the church is filled with these. A search of some Christian forums on the internet will show the same thing.
How in the world do Christians expect to show the love of Christ to an unsaved world if we can’t even be at peace with fellow believers?
The example of David and Jonathan is one that sets a wonderful example for us. These two young men made a covenant of friendship which bound them to protect and provide for one another. Neither of them took this agreement at all lightly either. It was Jonathan who had to face the anger and disparagement of his father, Saul, when he stood up for David. In fact, he was essentially risking his life for his friend. It was something David never forgot even after Jonathan’s death when he sought members of Jonathan’s family so he could bless them once he was king. The covenant of friendship was that serious.
In this day of easy communication via the internet it’s a simple thing for anyone to post vicious attacks against ‘fallen’ Christians and do so with usernames that make them anonymous. So we’ve come from ‘roasting the pastor’ over the Sunday beef to making our criticisms of the Body of Christ so public they can be seen by the entire world while we rattle off on our computers.
Is it discernment or a critical and judgmental spirit? What is the attitude of the heart when writing? Could it be pride?
The accuser of the brethren is Satan. That being the case, it’s logical to assume that Christians who see it as their ‘mission’ to tear down others may well have the direction of Satan to do so but certainly not the Holy Spirit for it’s His way to bind the broken hearted and forgive those who have stumbled.
A judgmental attitude is an enemy strategy. See it for what it is.
God’s plan is for believers to interact together in a loving and harmonious way. When two or more are in agreement in prayer, there is harmony which touches the heart of God. Satan’s ploy is to destroy the harmony of believers and the most efficient way to do that is to set them at war with one another. However, when we truly see with the eyes of our heart we recognize that we’re not really fighting people but the powers that control them…….or us.
Unbelievers have long looked at Christians, sceptically watching church wars and gossip, and then we wonder why they don’t want to get involved with religion. Quite honestly, with that kind of behaviour it’s very difficult to demonstrate our relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we see of someone who is genuinely in error our attitude is supposed to be gentle and humble; merciful and kind; tender-hearted and patient. In other words, we are to speak and act in a loving manner from a heart that has been transformed by the love of Christ. The apostle Paul tells us to stay away from anger and controversy, to avoid arguing and complaining; that we’re to make allowances for other people’s faults and forgive those who offend us.
There is a kind of feeding frenzy when a brother or sister falls and it often takes the form of pious gloating. It feeds the darker side of our personalities when our focus and efforts are much more productively and joyfully employed feasting on the glories and richness of God Almighty. It is only then when we find ourselves infused with love that forgives, love that grieves and love that views with compassion.
After all, we have all sinned and come short of God’s glorious standard and it is only He who declares us not guilty. Behold the splendour of the Lord and it become the lens through which others are seen--sometimes struggling with sin, filled with faults but always loved by Christ.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,