I don’t know what is more frustrating: seeing followers of Christ treat each other like dirt or seeing Christians treat the lost like they are hopeless. Honestly, the latter is more infuriating, because it is the complete OPPOSITE of our mission. Both are truly disappointing, though. I look at our current world and wonder if we are making any headway in sharing the good news. I guess it depends on what newsfeed you follow, and if you are seeing growth in your community. I love hearing stories of healing, of people that choose to believe and of ways that God has moved mountains in lives. This is an opportunity to share, glorify God, and rejoice with one another. We need it; it pushes us ahead and encourages us.
Lately, there has been so much bickering and debating on the internet and on the news about the way we treat one another. Whether Christian or not. Bullying is wrong. Name calling is wrong. Joking about something serious and painful can be truly destructive. I think this is a conversation Christians should not avoid. We need to set an example to the world with the way we treat each other, whether they are believers or not. You never know what the people you encounter every day are battling or living with. If our speech and actions are not loving, we could add to the beating many are already taking inside their minds.
We need to be prepared, in season and out of season. We need to be ready to share the hope we have. And we need to remember that some people have had negative experiences, incorrect spiritual education, and have maybe lived without God for many years. It doesn’t mean that they are beyond hope. Many will not be able to truly understand freedom or live in a way that truly pleases God until well into their walk with God. The Holy Spirit is present to convict and guide us in that way. It is sooooo important that we pray for one another and that we do not ignore the Spirit’s leading. Romans says it best.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13
It seems like so many of us are hurting these days. So many unspoken fears and burdens are weighing us down. I can’t help but think we are needlessly and unintentionally causing more hurt by miscommunication or non-communication. Also, hurt people tend to hurt people. You’ve likely heard that before. Whether by seeking revenge, speaking and acting in bitterness, or taking out pain on others that don’t deserve it, these are destructive actions. When we hurt, we need comfort. When we hurt, we need healing. When we hurt, we need to remember that our pain can affect others emotionally.
There is too much apathy in our Christian communities. Too much busyness. I look around and see many of us on a never-ending rollercoaster with loose bolts. Eventually they will not be able to hold us anymore and we will fall hard and fast. And I see some standing still. Too still. What will break our silence? What will slow us down? How many souls have we ignored? How many souls have we pushed away or weakened? James 4:17 says,
“So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.”
May we be convicted if we are treating one another poorly. I pray that we will not lose heart and that we will instead be encouraged to share the GOOD news before our time is done.