Tag Archives: Critical

Dear Critic: You are not the Captain of the Gospel Ship

In 21 years of salvation, I’ve never once considered walking away from Christ and back out into the world. There’s nothing there I want. After knowing Christ, His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy how could I even consider turning away from the peace that affords. Craziness! But the ministry for which I’ve been called, I can say in the 7 years since then, that I’ve pondered the notion of stepping out of it on a few occasions. It’s not easy being on God’s staff. I hadn’t really thought of it in that capacity until a few weeks ago, but that’s what being called is and it bears a pressure that is unseen to most. I’m not complaining, nor God forbid, am I seeking accolades. Stick with me as I get to where I am going.

This morning as I often do, I scrolled Facebook before getting out of bed just to see if anything happened whilst I slept upon my pillow. I know. That shouldn’t be the first thing on my mind when I get up, but it often is, because it’s handy. But as I scrolled I noticed a post on a pretty popular preacher and one I happen to listen to each week online. The post was one with a headline intended to entice the reader to click the link for more to the story and upon so doing I discovered an outright lie, meant as satire against the preacher. I didn’t know the person who shared the post, it was on a page for Christian bloggers, not on a “friends” page. The post sickened me because I’ve seen God’s people torn down so much lately.

Please don’t misunderstand, no one has been mean to me or critical; but there is an ever increasing awareness that everything I do is under scrutiny by the world because to the unsaved and to many saved people, ministry is a performance.

I was listening this week to the same preacher mentioned on the Facebook post, who had encouraged my soul on the matter of where God has me at in life and he spoke these words, “God didn’t call me to be a performer, and that takes the pressure off of me.” I found great truth in that statement. Too often I look at my ministry, be it singing or speaking, as a performance. It is in that capacity I’ve set myself up to be rated as a performer and critiqued by the world who has no spiritual foundation to do so.

There is one judge, and that is Christ Jesus.

But I live in a fallen world who feels they’re entitled to put every minister of God on trial, be they super star, local pastor, Sunday School Teacher or serving saint.

We’ve not progressed a whole lot in 2000 years in regards to that matter. Apostle Paul said in his day in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There’s a manner of judging ministers that’s acceptable. Do they line up with the Word of God? That’s not judging, that good sense. But when it comes to a minister’s heart, there is no place for that in God’s word. I’m not so much concerned with a minister who’s suddenly become rock star status, because usually, the minister didn’t do it. It was the people that launched them there. That too happened in bible days. Paul said in Chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians that they were doing that very thing with him and Apollos. But what happens when they achieve that status is it opens the door for Satan to have greater access as well and more damage to the Kingdom of God.

The danger lies not so much in what the world thinks but what Christians say. A Christian judging a pastor or other servant of God gives a validity to doubt the authenticity of the word of God. That’s what stirred my dander this morning when I saw that post. The fact that a Christian was spreading a non-fact as truth without researching the matter cast a doubt upon a man of God who’s sharing the gospel. That is dangerous ground to tread on.

So before we utter the first word of “critique” on a minister of the gospel or a child of God, we need to understand that they’re not performing, they’re relaying a God given message or ability for the purpose of edifying the Kingdom. Those who cast doubt will one day stand before the Almighty God and give account for that.

They’re style or delivery of the message may not float your boat, but you are not Captain of the Gospel Ship.

Post positive things for the cause of Christ. There’s enough negative Nancy’s out there in cyberspace.

Three Ways to Destroy a Relationship

words

Cranky Pants

Proverbs 15:1 ~ A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I try really hard to be a little Susie Sunshine, realizing that my attitude has the power to turn the helm of a relation-ship from blue skies to stormy seas with just a few words; but I can on any given day be the Gloomy Gus especially if I’m under stress, overly tired or not feeling well. Short curt answers are a telltale sign that something is not right, something a wise man like Solomon likely figured out with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. One thousand women… what was he thinking?

There are days it’s best just to walk away or at the very least answer softly. It seems that we feel we have the greater right to speak harshly to those we love the most, and yet we’ll bite our tongues off to keep from offending the a co-worker or friend. Why is it that? Likely one reason (speaking from experience) is that we have those curt conversations at the end of very long days, or at the beginning of one where the night was too short.

Rest on my friend, and speak easy.

Critical People

Proverbs 15:2 ~ The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

We likely all have that person in our lives that always sees the glass half empty, it’s never good. Perhaps you’re married to them. I am married to the guy that sees the exact water level. It’s neither half empty nor half full, its 4.2 ounces. I don’t dare ask his opinion unless I really want it, because he gives it and it’s usually brutally honest. It’s a good thing he’s married to a little Susie Sunshine! But I have my days as well. A critical spirit begins when we start having conversations in our head that eventually work their way out of our mouths. We’ve somehow formed the idea that our opinion is expert, and sometimes we are. It’s always better to assume you’re not than to open your mouth and prove the point.

Crude Profanity

Proverbs 15:3-4 ~ The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

I know there’s no “Cussin’ Christian’s” out there, (she said sarcastically and a tad bitter) but just in case there are, Solomon had a few words to say about it.

If I weren’t such a failure in so many other respects in my own life I could get up on a soap box and preach about this one a while. I guess Solomon felt the same way when he said it was “breach of spirit.” It puts a crack in a Christian testimony as wide as a canyon. And there’s not enough Christian service or words that fix it in the eyes of a lost person. They’ll be hard pressed to ever believe there’s a difference between the God we serve and the gods of this world. If it’s said to a friend or family member it breaks their spirit as well. There’s something far more demeaning about “those” words than the average word. And a relationship is on shaky ground.

I don’t know why I parked in this spot today, other than to encourage you to choose your words wisely, get some rest, and love the people in your life like there’s no tomorrow. Because you don’t know if there is.

The One Thing

It’s human nature that we continually search for that “one thing.” That one thing that will make us happy, that one thing that will complete us, be it materialist or an accomplishment we’re no doubt searching for something. Just as I think I’m past it, the flesh rises in me again and I determine there is something else, one more thing that I need. As it turns out, God thought that there was a few “one things” that I needed in life as well. The following is a very brief study of the “one thing’s” we should have an understanding of.

One thing is Confusing

Religion.

Acts 19:32

Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

Some cried one thing and some another. The crowd had come together against Paul, and yet they weren’t in agreement with each other. They all had different beliefs and passions, and would be led first one direction then another, but for the cause of Christ, they were all against it. They didn’t know what they believed, they just knew they didn’t believe Paul. How true is that of the world today that Satan has so many convoluted ideas out there as to what is right and wrong. He loves religion, because religion is man’s works, not their relationship with the Creator. Be very wary of people who argue religion, they’re apt to cause confusion and attract an audience of demonic whisperings.

One thing is Consistent

God’s Plan.

While even friends and family let us down, and more often than they, we ourselves let us down; there is one consistency in the life of a Christian and that is God has never let you down. Things may not go as planned but He did not fail us.

Joshua 23:14

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

Israel took a long trip through the wilderness, but the plan that God began was finished. The struggles in our lives that seem as though they may consume us at times will beyond a shadow of doubt find us at our intended destination. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: There is a consistency in the life of a child of God! Hallelujah!

One thing is Certain

Death.

It’s not something we enjoy discussing, we enjoy even less the facing of it, but it is certain. And yet so many people live each day as if they are promised another one.

Ecclesiastes 3:19

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

Solomon said it was vanity. Self-centeredness in the worst way not to understand that life is but a vapor, a fleeting moment. What are you doing with it that will have an eternal impact? There was renowned college professor once who was ask why he chose to teach, rather than preach before the thousands who would come to listen. His reply was “I can have a greater impact for eternity teaching preachers who will each reach thousands than I ever will alone.” Wise man. Don’t take time for granted.

One thing is Critical

Commitment.

Mark 10:21

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

If you want to make the most out of your relationship with God, no “one thing” can come between you and He. You’ve got to be willing to give it all up, trusting that what ever is needed God will provide.

One thing is Chosen

Worship.

Luke 10:42

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary was found at the feet of Jesus worshiping while Martha worried in the kitchen. She was concerned about the formalities of the event rather than the fact the Father of all Creation was sitting in her living room. There’s a time to work, and a time to worship and we have to choose. It’s important to understand priorities.

One thing is Converting

Salvation.

To an unsaved person there are many things that seem to matter, it’s the confusion spoken of earlier. But to a child of God who’s been converted from a sinner to a saint by the blood of Jesus it’s as if someone turned the light on in their lives and what once made no sense at all, is now as clear as day.

John 9:25

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

One thing is Continual

Time.

2 Peter 3:8

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This is certainly not an exhaustive study, although if you read all 1038 words in this blog you may be exhausted. But how awesome it is to know that in all of life’s ebbs and flows there is One Thing that is assured for the child of God and that is an eternity without sorrow.

Life’s not perfect. But Hallelujah we serve the One True God Who is perfect in every way. He is the One Thing you need. Do you know Him? If not, get in touch with me, I’d love to introduce you.